Our Dinner with Al Gore, the President Elected
VIRGINIA [12:13 P.M.]: Still crappy and you know that having no voice is the worst thing in the world that could happen to me...OK maybe not the WORST, but it's pretty bad. But I wouldn't have traded Monday night to feel better. That's for sure.
DONNA [12:24 P.M.]: You mean we don't have dinner with a former vice president and his wife regularly?
VIRGINIA [12:30 P.M.]: No we don't. Al and Tipper aren’t our usual dining companions. And who knew it would happen Monday? I was just jazzed to be to be at the book party for An Inconvenient Truth. Dinner after was the proverbial icing on the cake.
DONNA [12:36 P.M.]: True. I was looking forward to seeing how the other half throws a book party.
VIRGINIA [12:38 P.M.]: Hey! We’ve had some pretty impressive book parties---but I guess they really don’t compare.
DONNA [12:39 P.M.]: We haven’t quite arrived at the blue whale stage of our career, but it gives us something to shoot for. I mean, the Hall of Ocean Life at the Museum of Natural History was pretty impressive, but it was a perfect setting for a book about how we're screwing up the planet and what we need to do to stop..
VIRGINIA [12:40 P.M.]: And we do need to stop. What did he say, that the place between denial and despair is DO SOMETHING! I got an email today that said stop what you're doing and go to see the movie now...and this was from a REAL person that I know---Not from Move-On or another organized group. So maybe the word is getting out...We have to do something. Even if it's only in the smallest way we can.
DONNA [12:41 P.M.]: Our conversation with the cab driver on the way to the restaurant-- about how he'd already seen the movie and that he spent all his time and efforts working for environmental issues shows you the message is out there--although I did think it was ironic that he drives a pollution-mobile to make money to end pollution.
VIRGINIA [12:45 P.M.]: Everybody has to make a living. And he was doing what he could. I don't think quitting his job would be a solution. It would be a grand gesture but not a solution. This isn't all going to change at once---it needs to, but it won't. And I know how you want things to be different--now. And I think the only way that will happen is if you have cab drivers and waitresses and engineers and farmers and teachers and ironworkers all doing SOMETHING.
DONNA [12:50 P.M.]: Didn't expect him to quit his job, but it is ironic. It points out that this is not just an issue for crunchy granola eating hippies and egg headed scientists. People who live in crowded cities get asthma because they’re breathing crap. That’s about the environment too. It also shows how complicated the solution can seem since it involves everything we do, buy, drive, eat. . . The whole way we live our lives. That's not meant to sound impossible, because then we just say, 'what the hell' and do nothing.
VIRGINIA [12:53 P.M.]: It isn't impossible---which is why EVERYONE should see the movie and/or read the book. We can do something to stop this environmental hole we've dug for ourselves, but we have to start now. We don't have to give up electricity and eat ground nuts but we do have to live on the planet as responsible stewards.
DONNA [12:54 P.M.]: Are you running for something you didn't tell me about?
VIRGINIA [12:55 P.M.]: The bus? Did I sound that preachy, campaigny?
DONNA [1:01 P.M.]: It had a, "paid for by the committee to elect. . ." ring to it, but I know what you mean.
VIRGINIA [1:02 P.M.]: But all that being said---I still can't believe we just sat around talking over burgers. OK. He talked over a burger. I had salmon.
DONNA [1:02 P.M.]: And I pushed salad around my plate because you know I can’t eat when I’m seriously engaged in conversation.
VIRGINIA [1:02 P.M.]: It doesn’t stop you when you’re around me and we have some pretty serious conversation.
DONNA [1:03 P.M.]: At this point, talking to you is like talking to myself. Anyway, it was quite surreal rubbing shoulders with the former President elect(ed). Literally rubbing shoulders. Mine are wide, his are wider and the table was full so we kept bumping into each other. The nice thing was that it felt regular, not like I was supposed to curtsey or not speak until I was spoken to.
VIRGINIA [1:04 P.M.]: Despite the ill-gotten reign of WII, this is still America. No curtseying required. Yep it felt pretty regular. But also not regular at all.
DONNA [1:10 P.M.]: It was reassuring to know that the person who was second in command is smart, funny, still engaged in public discourse and has a healthy appetite. I kept wondering how weird it is for them to be constantly meeting new people and finding themselves sharing a meal and conversation with perfect strangers. I mean, we weren't expecting to be with them, but they weren't exactly waiting for us either. It's a unique way to live your life.
VIRGINIA [1:12 P.M.]: Yes, but it beats meatloaf every Monday doesn't it?
DONNA [1:13 P.M.]: True, but it puts a whole lotta pressure on us for next Monday.