Hello I am back.

This afternoon James Baker III, former secretary of state, kissed me on the cheek. That is all.

Okay, here's the story. He's an old family friend of my friend K (the one with the new kittens), and he was in town this afternoon with Madeline Albright, Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger, and Warren Christopher for a two-hour talk called "Bi-Partisan Advice to the Next President." It's supposed to be on PBS eventually. James Baker had the conference site invite K and me to the lunch afterwards (dry chicken on white rice with soggy veg) and then we got to ride to the local airport with him in his towncar. He and K talked about family stuff, mostly, and I stayed politely quiet, but I got the gentlemanly buss as he said goodbye. I did not go "Phew! Republican!" and swipe my face with the back of my hand.

The big laugh from the talk was when James Baker said, "Madeline did something I never did, which was kiss Yassir Arafat," then Madeline Albright said, "I invented kissing diplomacy," and then Colin Powell said, "I kissed Yassir Arafat too."

Other conclusions: 1) Colin Powell should have served better people. 2) If I lived with Henry Kissinger, half my life would be spent screaming "TAAAAALK FAAAAASTER!!!"

I've spent the past week in Birmingham AL with my folks. I haven't uploaded all my pictures from NCAA Rounds 1 & 2 but here's the Sloss Furnaces, once one of Birmingham's major employers, now an industrial monument:

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8 Responses to Hello I am back.

  1. snoringKatZ says:

    Peg, I missed you! No wonder you've been away – hobnobbing with the … whatchamacallems. I don't think my Doc Severinson cheek kiss can even compare.As for Colin Powell, he broke my heart. I'm trying to get over it. Your comment about him helps.My former boss is from Birmingham! Thanks for the tour o' the town bits πŸ™‚

  2. Lauri says:

    Wow! That is SO interesting to here your thoughts on those people!I felt the same about Colin Powell. Great pics and a great post, Peg! Lol at the kissing story!

  3. Lauri says:

    Crap, I actually type "here" when I meant "hear"….excuse moi. 😦

  4. Holy cow, Doc Severinson? What was he wearing?Colin Powell is a Good Soldier, which means he follows orders. Unfortunately.

  5. I new that! I mean I knew that. Honest! πŸ™‚

  6. snoringKatZ says:

    The funny thing is that I can only remember the photo I took. I sort of rode in on the coattails of a friend who worked the university newspaper. I was an erstwhile photographer and it didn't go well. I held the camera for about 30 seconds before I was supposed to shoot DS and the band. Like I said, it didn't go well. But he had on one of his traditional vests πŸ™‚ and they all promised they'd come over for spaghetti when they were in town again. heehee!I think when you hit 'General' you need to stop being a Good Soldier and start being a Good Leader Responsible for Thousands of Lives. That's the real shame of it to me. I really think he could have stopped all of this before it started if he'd just stood up.

  7. pyrl says:

    I love this post. I have thought about it every day since I first saw it (…yesterday no, …kidding really) on 3/27.Seriously, very impressive. Breathtaking even. Great comments. Finally catching up on commenting myself. Mostly wanted to let you know how awestruck I am. And, my comment is, …in the last 10 years I've gone past suspecting, moved on to deciding, (not in a Hollywood flick, or paranoid conspiracy way) that there is TONS happening behind the political scenes. TONS the public are not privvy to. It's all so senseless otherwise. I think what clinched it for me was when Al Gore announced he would not run again. Very fishy. If I'm right, so many new questions. Great. Now you have a glimpse of my troubled mind! LOL!I would like a kiss from a politician. I work with folks whose offices are bestrewn (word?) with such signed photo moments. (OMG Peg! Did you get a photo???) Even more, how about a heart to heart? C'mon, Jim, Colin. I promise I wont tell anybuddy…….

  8. No being awestruck on my account! I was invited because K doesn't have a cell phone, but I do, and James Baker wanted some way to get in touch with her, although he would have had to borrow a cell phone to call me, because he doesn't carry one either (his "palm pilot" is a little leather pocket stuffed with scraps of paper), which K said made her feel vindicated but just smelled like incipient clustermuckup to me. The only privy moment was when JB said "Henry and me have always gotten along, because we're realists–none of this idealogical bull sh*t," which I figured meant he was pretty comfortable with us because he seemed pretty courtly to use that kind of language in front of ladies in a more formal setting. With his accent he added a couple of syllables to the word.I did have questions for him, like "When presidents meet, does anything really get done, or is it all done by bureaucrats in the background?" or "Do you regret helping out with the Florida recount?" or "Since you tasted Roland Messnier's desserts, do you think I should buy his cookbook?" Roland Messnier was the White House pastry chef for Bush I and the Clintons and half of Bush II–that was the question I put in my mental pocket in case I needed to make conversation, but it wasn't called for, so I don't know if I'll get the cookbook or not. Maybe as a souvenir of the afternoon…No pictures, unfortunately–I was way too conscious of being a mile or two above my raisin' to ask anyone to pose. I wouldn't have minded a kiss from Colin Powell ("Sorry about that Iraq thing, General, dude!") but I was never closer than half a room away from him.

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