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Sep. 18th, 1999

I slept in until 8:15 this morning. None of the first sessions were XML-related. I checked out of the Sheraton at around 9:00. At the desk, I asked the ladies working there if they’d heard about my note to the management. They hadn’t, but asked what it was about. We all had a good laugh about it. The one lady said, “You know, they should just make the toilet paper that way.” I’ve got to suggest this to Raj.

I took the shuttle to the Pentagon City station and stopped at the Pentagon Fashion Center, at Au Bon Pain, for a “Dutch Apple” bagel with some light cream cheese. The woman who made my bagel was not at all happy or customer-oriented, even though the bag she handed me my order in talked about how committed Au Bon Pain is to provide the freshest food and the friendliest service. Obviously the home office is not in Washington, DC, and this lady hasn’t bought into the company’s mission statement. J

I rolled my luggage to the metro and fiddled with my two tickets – one with 45cents left on it and the other with 95 cents left on it. I put the 45 cent one in and then put the 95 cent one in hoping it would add them together. No such luck. I canceled the 45 cent one, and removed it. I put the 95 cent one in, and added 75 cents to it – enough to get me to Woodley Park this morning. Now, I still have two tickets, the one with 45 cents on it and another with 55 cents on it. I’ll up the 55 cent one to get to the Friendship Heights exit to meet Jimmy and give the other one to Phyllis to use some time. TMI about TKTs! J

I checked my bags at the Marriott and attended the Saturday conference sessions. I have got to get my eyes checked when I get back. What about the dentist?

I hate “group” lunches at these conferences. “I created a server program on the client side. What I mean by a server program on the client side is…” blah, blah, blah, who cares? The lady to the right of me is not saying anything. I like her. Unfortunately, this boring technical session going on is between the guy to her right and the guy to my left. And it’s so damn cold in here. Guess that’s what we get for complaining about how hot it was on the first day.

The last session ended at 4:00. I was going to attend a 5:00 – 6:30 session, but they moved them all around and there was no XML-related session at 5:00. This gave me an hour of “found time.” I took the metro to the Holocaust Museum. I got there at about 4:30. I didn’t know it was closing at 5:30, nor did I remember about how popular the place was and how long the lines were to tour through the whole thing. They give out so many tickets in one day, in the morning, with scheduled times to go through (much like the National Gallery did when The Impressionists tour was through there). So, I wasn’t able to tour the entire museum, but they had 5 exhibits that you could visit. I got through two of them.

One was “Daniel’s Story,” which was a very poignant story of the Nazi occupation through the eyes of a child. It might have been “Daniel’s Diary.” It was very well done. Then I went into a room of computers where there was a Holocaust registry and some self-learning workstations. Some people where putting in people’s names (relatives? friends?) at the Registry computers. I went on to the learning center. It was very well done. It had multimedia, you could click on related photos, hear related audio clips (speaking and singing), and just read up on a multitude of topics. I looked up Homosexuals.

I, of course, new about the pink triangles that were used to identify the homosexuals. What I didn’t realize was that the Germans were almost exclusively interested in eradicating the German homosexual men because 1) they were to effeminate to be able to fight and protect Germany, and 2) they couldn’t reproduce and make the German race better. How sad. I was also struck by a selection of photos of men that were identified as homosexual and persecuted. One was an interior designer, and one was a hairdresser, I believe. Well it was one of the “stereotypical” jobs that we do seem to be prevalent in.

After being thrown out of the museum at 5:30, I took the metro back to Woodley Park to pick up my luggage, get back on the metro, and head up to Phyl and Jimmy’s stop. I must include the subway scene on the train between Woodley Park and Friendship Heights in which the late-fortyish, maybe even mid-fiftyish woman was really digging in her nose. Right there in front of all those people. Her her was a mess. Totally uncombed and one little section slanted off to the left. Then the next section went to the right. Some flat, some sticking up. Then, just as I thought she was stopping, she took that finger out and put it right in her mouth.

While waiting for them at the metro stop, I took in the sights – Neiman Marcus on one corner, Chevy Chase pavilion on another corner. Wow! I thought. DO they live in Chevy Chase? I think they might. I started noticing the people to see if they looked “uptown.” Two cars drove by with men driving them in tuxes. They weren’t (professional) drivers or anything. They were just going somewhere dressed up in tuxes. I saw two of those cute new Volkswagen Beetles, and a white (super) stretch limo. (Later Phyl would tell me that she has seen a huge white limo like that pull up in that area, with the (subtle) secret service car following it, and Madelene Albright got out with all of her grandchildren. Evidently a lot of the high-powered Washington officials live, and socialize in that area. She would also tell me about her friend, whose husband recently died in the bicycle accident in Colorado – he was a huge fund raiser for the Democratic party – and she’s left with the house, whose mortgage payments are $10,000 a month.) I also saw almost every variety of races represented in the people walking by. There was even a family member who walked by with a girl. I knew he was family from pretty far away. I thought, “I can guarantee you those two are just friends!”

Jimmy arrived at the metro stop right on time. What nice people Phyl and Jimmy are. He confirmed that they did live in Chevy Chase, but down at the “low end” (closer to one million) section, not the “high end” (more like 5 million) section. They paid about $250,000 for their house, have put in about 100 grand with of work, and it’s now valued at around $800.000. It’s an absolutely gorgeous house. It reminds me of Alex and Julie’s 5-points house in some ways.

We had a great evening. I had 3 ½ bourbon and diet cokes. They were the tall ice tea glasses, too. It was all do comfortable. Jimmy cooked some awesome steaks on the grill, while Phyllis prepared a garden salad, baked potatoes, and some bread – butter, green olives, and Parmesan cheese on it. We sat outside on their deck and ate. They gave me a wonderful, comfortable jacket. Mickey and Bridgette sat by, waiting for some morsels. We had great conversation, and the food was delicious.

We moved inside because Jimmy was cold, and I got caught up on a lot of the family history. I asked to see a picture of Marti. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one, but once I saw it, she looked familiar to me. I couldn’t decide if it was family resemblance I was seeing, or if maybe Jeane had showed me a picture in the past. She died of cervical cancer. I thought it was either ovarian or breast cancer. I also got the poop on her husband, Justin’s father, and the family strain associated with him.

Phyl and Jimmy have a lot of investments. Other than the pub, the just bought a little house in Georgetown that has an Italian Ice Cream store on the front. The place is renting for $1150 a month, and the ice cream store brings in about $1500 a month. The current tenants are moving out of the house part on October 1st, and Jimmy wants to “fix the place up.” He projects that once it’s fixed up, they can get $2000 a month for it. People are dying to live in Georgetown. He seems, they both seem really, quite investment-oriented and entrepreneurial.

We went up to bed at 11:00. I was pleased to be put in the room that Jeane-baby stays in when she visits. Phyl and I had a little conversation about books and reading as she showed me the master bedroom. Jimmy was so conked he fell asleep on the bed while we briefly discussed The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

I fell asleep in that big ol’ comfortable bed in less than five minutes I’m sure.

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