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By Samuel 'DarthBotto' Horton
Jul 28, 2009 01:24


This last week actually flew by very fast and I can’t say I went to many historic places in that timeframe. However, I did have several nice experiences that I’d like to share with you. Just as a heads-up, I can’t guarantee that this blog will be fast and easy reading. I’m not trying to write a Harvard essay, (I already did that this last winter), I just want to share my experiences. If you are worried about having enough energy to read through by blog, (wall of text), just know that my grandfather has been reading my blogs as well as the comments that go with them and he says that you should be worried because a man in his 70s has more endurance than you do.

On Monday, the interns and I visited the Library of Congress, the largest library on the face of the Earth. We only got to see the large reading area from National Treasure 2 for a short time before going home. However, we got an exclusive look at the children’s books section where a large variety of books are available, although not for children’s use but for research on the growing mind of a child. There was one book in particular, from the early 1800s, called “The Truant Bunny”. It tells the tale of how a young bunny rabbit skips school and plays in the meadow. However, the truant officer catches him and the story ends with his well-deserved hanging.

Tuesday was a good day for one particular event. I was working all day on the intern newsletter and did not have a break. So, around four or so I took a break and went down to the coffee shop in the Dirksen building to get a gelato. On my way back, while getting off the Senate subway, I realized that I was getting off at the same time as Al Franken. The people on the subway went to an elevator and we all got in. On our way up, Al Franken said to me, “Hey, you ever notice that the elevator creaks when a freshman senator’s on it?” So we had a few laughs and he got off a few floors below my own. So that pretty much made my day.

The days from Wednesday to Thursday are pretty much a blur. Sometime in that vague proximity, we go to visit the White House. However, getting in was pretty unpleasant because it’s one of the most heavily-guarded structures in the world and the guards are actually considered some of the most dangerous men in the United States. Inside, I found that the parts of the White House that I enjoyed the most was seeing the presidential portraits that you only get to see copies of on Wikipedia. This included the original one of George Washington that the British didn’t manage to burn in the War of 1812.

On Friday, I went to the National Public Radio headquarters which was a real pleasure, in the very least. It was pretty awesome to get to sit inside the recording studios that all the weekly shows that are played across the country are aired from. On Saturday, we went to Six Flags America. It was rather disappointing because apparently not all their rides are designed for guys that are 6’5”. Sunday was meh, we didn’t have anything planned. I went to a late-night showing of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” with another intern who will be going to college with me. I have to say it was pretty damned retarded, but the action was cool.

So anyways, today I was sick for the first half, probably because of the coconut on the popcorn from last night, which I am unfortunately allergic to. The second half was alright, mostly perfecting the final draft of the newsletter and going to the National Portrait Gallery, which totally owned.

A brief overview of little things I’m thinking:
• “District 9” will be an amazing movie, analyzing racial discrimination and its role in human nature.
• I got an idea for a kick-ass movie; the idea is so perfect that I can’t even write it down. 
• I noticed that the logo on the SteelSeries-StarCraft II mouse pads included “Wings of Liberty”, no comment from Blizzard.
• Al Franken is funny; I hope we meet many more times in the future.
• I miss you guys!

Mr. Botto Goes to Washington: Part 2

By Samuel 'DarthBotto' Horton
Jul 20, 2009 02:38

My adventure in Washington, D.C. continues still as I experience more of politics and see things that others could only dream of. As promised, I bring you Part 2 of my internship in D.C.
Well, this week was less of sightseeing and more of actually having some more firsthand experience of the politics that make of the United States. Due to my rushed last entry in my blog, I’ll reiterate more of what happened on Sunday. You see, that day the intern coordinators thought it would be more appropriate to arrange a special tour in which we would attend more of a culturally-significant location, rather than to awe one. I admit, by what we went to, I was awed but not because of how amusing it was, but actually of how hallowed and reserved the place was. It was time to visit the Arlington Cemetery, the holy resting place of dead politicians and over 300,000 U.S. soldiers who gave their lives for defense of the country.

So my group went there and unlike previous locations with smiling tourists and a warm environment, this place was unsettling and hauntingly silent. I appreciated the cemetery for honoring fallen Americans but did not enjoy it, in the very least. One of my colleagues who usually likes to hang around and crack jokes at every turn seemed bothered by the cemetery and simply walked off without saying a word. Out of us all, he seemed to physically train the most often and I suspect that is because of some military appreciation or desire. We left that place and I have to say it really did depress me for the rest of the day. Somehow that makes me feel better, knowing that I can pay my respects and maintain a good connection with myself.

Monday was a very chaotic day. It’s not that we did a lot of work, but the fact that it was the day that we were getting trained to give tours of the United States Capitol for visitors. We spent upwards of six hours learning what each of the details of the building represent and how to lead people out in the very-unlikely event of an emergency. According to the man teaching us about the fire emergency preparedness, the building has systems that are very smart and will put out fires in a heartbeat while sucking the smoke away. Guess they learned from what you Europeans did to it in the War of 1812.

By Tuesday, I was finishing up various projects for Senator Lisa Murkowski and managing her appropriation deals for the website. I’ve been the intern who’s been answering the phone the most, so I’ve had most variety in phone calls. One certain call involved a woman who opposed Murkowski’s latest views of healthcare and what-not. I tried answering her questions, but she said the following, “No, I’ve heard you people’s stupid bullshit long enough. I’m not impressed. I’m not impressed by you and I’m not impressed by what you represent. I also want to say that I don’t give a rat’s ass about what some bullshit middle man thinks about certain issues!” I then just hung up on her and 10 seconds later, she was spewing the same garbage at another intern about me. By then, my intern coordinator decided that I was the most technically-aligned individual of our intern group, along with being professional in design. Thus, I have been put in charge of the newsletter for interns, past and present. Pretty much the rest of that day was spent working on the newsletter.

A good thing is that the Senator and I have gotten to know each other and we feel free to express our opinions and discuss things when I’m helping her. After she returned from the White House, from what she phrased as, “Obama trying to twist her arm,” we discussed his and her different opinions on health care. The next day, it was my turn to assist her around the Capitol and it proved to be one of the best experiences of my entire internship. I got to see people ask questions, even ones as dumb as, “What do you think of Sarah Palin resigning?” I had the opportunity to appear on KTUU and got to talk with people from Native corporations so I could discuss certain things. It was awesome!

Yesterday, my group went to the Holocaust Museum, where an African-American was recently murdered by a white supremacist. I have to say, I was really brought down by the Holocaust Museum. It was completely depressing and offered nothing new to me. I read Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler when I was 15 and I remember it very well. So well, in fact, the other people in the museum thought I was their tour guide and asked me questions about parts of the museum, questions that I could answer. It was worse than the cemetery because there was no glory or poetic apotheosis for the Jews. It simply was acknowledging them and nodding at a pit of hatred. The thing I did experience for the first time was an understanding. I understand how people of a certain heritage will unite and see their forefathers’ suffering and acknowledge the miracle of their existence. I have considerable Jewish heritage, so being in the museum and seeing the exhibits brought that out for me and created a certain empathy that others can only emulate but not fully understand.

Today was more mellowed out. I woke up late and did not have the energy to go on any tours, so that was a bummer. However, I did talk with bds for a while today. We’ve been working closely together to bring his Wikipedia page up to par and I’m proud to say we finally made it more pleasing and not just a jumble of bds fandom. I’m glad to see that my absence from work at SK is not taking too great of a toll. My ratings are increasing and I’m becoming more mainstream every day.

Well, that’s all I really have to say. I hope I’ve provided more insight about me and my journey. I hope you all are doing well and I’ll speak more next Sunday.

Mr. Botto Goes to Washington: Part 1

By Samuel 'DarthBotto' Horton
Jul 14, 2009 01:32

Sorry people, I am a little late with getting the second part to you. Don't worry, I've had a great experience so far!
So friends, I promised last sunday that I would be able to provide new content every following sunday. Unfortunately, I had a lot going on this weekend so I didn't have a chance to provide the blog on time. However, I am making it up to you by providing it only 21 hours late!

So I left it off to you with me going to a party on Independence Day, followed by an awesome tour of D.C. Well, the work week proved to be the most fruitful experience as I've been able to see and feel things that television only wishes it could provide insight for. Rest assured, the reason I have not been able to provide news for a week now is a valid one. I hope you enjoy it!

On monday, we had the primary purpose of orienting ourselves with the office, meeting all the staff and learning the importance of being senate employees. Seeing the fancy office and using the solid marble restrooms that only the mighty John McCain could use was pretty sweet. We were getting to familiarize ourselves with some of the most important men and women in America. However, the senate ethics video was unpleasant because it was two hours long and featured a senate employee thinking his stupid puns every couple of seconds were funny. What I learned: don't talk to lobbyists, don't accept big gifts, don't take bribes or you'll get screwed by the right hand of the United States.

On tuesday, however, I worked the mailroom job and met the mail guys. One guy's called Peter and he basically says he's there to protect others from the wrath of Mike, the guy who's been there forever and likes to bully interns for fun. Actually, I learned to use the Autopen pretty well and Mike was fun because when we were working, I'd hear, "Goddamnit, not this again! He's a fricken pedophile!"
... MJ's memorial service.
But yeah, I experienced a full work day, met interesting people and caught a glimpse of Senator Murkowski hobbling around on her knee she shredded earlier this year. The day ended with a photo with Senator Bingaman, a photo which will arrive in about a week. So yes, it was good.

You see the Capitol building on TV. No big deal. Americans are so arrogant, like it's just a building. I say HELL NO to that!!! Because I'm a senate employee, I got a special dome tour that featured us climbing up that massive dome on the top of the Capitol Building. It's beautiful, it's enormous, it's the highest and best point in D.C., and it's nearly 400 steps up. Yeah, it was amazing. I stood where hardly anyone else has the chance to stand and I loved it! I got some great pictures that I will post entirely at the end of this whole experience.

On thursday, I pretty much stayed cool and worked all day, running little errands around the Capitol building, seeing senators and not remembering their names. About an hour and-a-half from the end of the day, I was working on a special website assignment I was given earlier. I heard a woman's voice say, "Hi, I don't believe we've met yet." I thought it was just another office employee, so I curtiously turned around to find I was staring at Senator Murkowski, my boss. I was like, "Oh, Senator Murkowski! Great to meet you!" while in my head I was thinking, "Holy shit!" After that, we all had a conference with her and basically got to know her.

On friday it was a short day and we spent half of it at the Supreme Court building and the Smithsonian for Air and Space. There was an unfortunate story that another intern in our group went to a health conference where bigwig republicans like Murkowski, McCain, ect... discussed the current health care problem. This intern sat behind Sen. Murkowski, actually took off her high heels, crossed her legs and leaned back in her chair. It was a little embarassing for our office.

Anyways, the weekend was good, we spent time at the Arlington Cemetary, where 300,000 American soldiers and murdered presidents are buried. It was a little depressing. Anyways, today I basically was training for a Capitol tour so I could give some in the future, I'm pretty nervous and unsure since it's a big building in the heart of America. The highlight was that I passed by McCain, didn't say, "wazzaaaaap!"

Basically, that's my first update! I'll keep you all posted and sorry for the late posting!

Mr. Botto Goes to Washington: Beginning

By Samuel 'DarthBotto' Horton
Jul 5, 2009 22:06

Due to popular request, I am beginning a four-week blog series called "Mr. Botto Goes to Washington" to cover my exploits in Washington, D.C. as an intern for Senator Murkowski. Each of these blogs will be published in the evening (Eastern United States time) from here on out.

So, I had my hair cut a day before I left Kodiak. My mom let me have a trim, so it's not a crew cut and it's not hippie hair either. She also thought my goatee made me look mature so she recommended I keep it. So I got all packed up and on Friday, got on the plane to Anchorage on, Alaska only a few hours after my sister's German boyfriend arrived.

I arrived there and stayed with my great-aunt and uncle for the night. They mostly gave me a lot of pizza, barbequed pork, cookies and donuts, which totally rocked!

I then got on the plane to Seattle. Only a few minutes in, (before we had even taken off,) I knew there were going to be problems because there was a French guy who kept on "accidentally" touching my butt. It was unusually empty, so I was allowed to move to one of the many empty rows. The French guy was indignant.

I stayed in Seattle for about four hours. During that time, the Seattle folk seemed strangely attracted to the news about my state's governor, (Sarah Palin,) resigning. I was used to it, because the news was repeating so much that I couldn't care less. The only thing that interests me about this whole thing is the speculation that Palin will want to take Murkowski's spot in the senate. If this is true, it would be political suicide, seeing as how the former mayor of Wasilla/2.5 year-termed governor would feel qualified to take over for a locally more-popular figure that I now work for.

So yes, the four-hour trip from Seattle to Washington was miserable. Riding coach for that long is dreadful and a small child in front of me kept on screaming. The only good thing that came was that I was sitting next to a hot girl who was getting ready to party in D.C.

I got into Washington forty minutes early and met up with the other interns and the coordinators. They told us to be safe, but they weren't our babysitters or friends. When my roommate and I settled into our dorms, we went into the halls and were pulled into a crowd of drunk Latino girls who wanted to get us drunk and do God-knows-what to us. So they handed us beers, and me being underage and all, pretended to consume and get hammered like them. So in short, I only let them get cuddly. I didn't like the idea of getting headline news of "MURKOWSKI INTERN FOUND WITH BODY OF DEAD, DRUNKEN AND SEEMINGLY NAKED CALIFORNIAN INTERN!!!"

So yeah, I haven't seen any of them this morning because they're probably having pretty bad hangovers and the only visible remnants of their existence is the waist-level pile of beer cans in the hall.

But, you are probably interested in my actual D.C. experience! So I start work in the Heart of the Capitol building tomorrow. Today was basically an activity day with exploring D.C. Well, I basically got up-close everything in the Federal Triangle except the White House, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. It's been a real treat to get to experience so much history and culture first-hand and I hope that this is only the beginning. I am very interested to see how Palin's resignation will affect my job and how the senator will react as well. I took a ton of pictures which I WILL upload to SK for everyone to see.

Keep an eye pealed for next week.

I got an internship in Washington, D.C.!!!

By Samuel 'DarthBotto' Horton
Jun 23, 2009 00:42

The title does not lie!
Today I was bringing in soda for my family's ice cream truck business. As we were walking in, the phone was ringing and the message was about to be tranferred to the answering machine. With three twelve packs in one arm, I awkwardly answered the phone. It was a guy from Alaskan senator Lisa Murkowski's office who was calling about an internship in Washington, D.C. I applied for months prior but did not make the first group's cut.

He told me that there was an opening for the second group and asked if I was interested. I was so pleased that I sounded like a little kid with say, "Yes!"

Anyways, I'll be leaving to begin work on July, 6th and will be there for approximately a month. I need to cut my hippie hair off and shave my 18 year-old goatee because Murkowski's a republican and I look like a badass gamer.

Anyways, I'll be still providing coverage for SK Gaming and will be as close to Europe as I can get.

P.S. to Maly: Sorry, once again, we are on opposite sides of the earth. :P
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