Sunday, June 28, 2009

a couple days from the district: another cooper family field trip

for starters, aim heard about my last blog post before she read about it... yes, that is how fast word travels in the cooperfive universe. first off, given the number of comments on my last post, i guess i underestimated the total number of members in my young readers fan club and sensitive readers fan club. to that i say, good for you... don't ever compromise your standards, not even for the blogmaster.

secondly, i can understand aim's reservations in what used to be the very private nature of our lives all of sudden becoming very public information. that being said, she needs to understand that the second she made the decision to take part in the photo shoot that landed her that first big break on the walls of walmart, she gave up the safe and easy comforts of private life.

seriously, what did she expect? a walmart wall model and a semi-professional blogger... that's the kind of stuff gossip columns, newspaper social sections, people magazine and tmz are made of. regardless, we're willing to give up our privacy for your benefit... i consider it our way of giving back to the public. i can't imagine the lot of you getting by each day without knowing what kinds of unimportant decisions the cooperfive are making. speaking of which, today i went with black pants, white shirt, no jacket, made some grits for breakfast, grilled cheese for lunch, and drove the santa fe to church. stay tuned...

along those lines, i feel compelled to share with you a few tidbits from our recent trip to wachington dc since the cooperfive never goes on vacation from its blog zombies.

a couple weeks ago the larger cooper family did an adults only vacation to our nation's capital: washington dc (and i use "adults only" in a non-vegas sort of way)compliments of big jeff and special k... thanks again! the adult section of the larger cooper family consists of j and k, their six kids and the five spouses of the five of their kids who are married... most of whom i have made fun of at some point on the blog (in-laws and blood relatives alike... i am an equal-maker-funner-of'ist).

the larger cooper family, or the cooperthirteen as i will refer to them herein, is an interesting mix of differing personalties. unfortunately, i don't have time to go into the dynamics of each personality, so will do the next best thing which is to describe a cooperthirteen family vacation.

first off, i think it's important to distinguish between a cooper thirteen family vacation and a cooperthirteen family field trip and to clarify that our recent excursion to the district was more of the latter than the former. i say field trip instead of vacation because scehdules and punctuality are things that should have no place in a vacation... field trip, yes, vacation, no. needless to say, cooper family field trips are sometimes overly dominated by schedules and punctuality. big jeff runs a tight ship while we're out on the prowl and wo unto that poor unfortunate soul who decides to run afoul of the golden rule (he who has the gold makes the rules as well as the time to be up and out the door each morning).

no cooperthirteen vacation would be complete without one or more of the g2 coopers (second generation) running behind schedule and big jeff not being too happy about it. it just wouldn't feel right. a fixture of a c13 vacation is the inevitable call from special k (kenna) the night before a big day of activities reminding us for the third time that we need to be up and ready to leave, which includes already having eaten breakfast and being out on the curb waiting for the shuttle, by 7:30 am). just for the record, i'm not complaining, i'm just documenting for posterity's sake.

nor would a cooperthirteen vacation be complete without multiple embarassing events taking place, each of which being specific to a certain person or couple, that the remaining members of the clan will never, ever, ever, let you forget. generally, these types of events emanate from my mom, but we've all had our fair share of the unforgiving moments we would rather forget. maybe sometime i'll tell you about our trip to salem that took place around five or six years ago since it still seems to be pretty fresh in everyone's minds, but for purposes of this post that's neither here nor there.

so, again, for posterity's sake, here are some of the gems from the dc spectacular that will not soon be forgotten:

2nd runner up: the cooperthirteen showing up to the smithsonian before it opened. but wait, that's not all... take a guess, how early do you think we were? 15 minutes, a half hour, an hour? try 1.5 hours early. we were so early, while we were sitting down outside the building because we couldn't get in, someone from the museum came outside and said, "you know, the museum doesn't open to the public for another hour and a half." yes, we understand, but we're on a schedule.

in our defense, we were waiting for the curator to give us a private tour before the museum actually opened, but we were even early for that. besides, this isn't the first time this has happened: zoos, disneyland, walmart, etc. are just some of the few locations that have felt the presence of the cooperthirtteen well before their doors were opened to the public... it's vintage cooperthirteen family vacation stuff.

1st runner up: aim's comment at ben's chili bowl. for those who aren't quite as urban as the cooperthirteen, ben's chili bowl is some kind of greasy spoon black mecca joint where apparently every famous black person who has ever existed has eaten at some point (including president obama). this eating estalbishment was recommended to us by former dc resident and current blog zombie megan, but was also somewhat of a must for a certain brother-in-law of mine who felt he had a nirvana-like first vision type experience within the restaurant's hallowed walls as he harkened back to his turbulent upbringing on the streets of orem, utah where that indelible connection he has with the african american community was likely forged... or maybe it was byu.

apparently, eating in the presence of walls plastered with pictures of barry obama, al sharpton and bill cosby has that affect on some people... it definitely made the food taste better than it probably would have if the pics would have been a bunch of stuffy republicans. in all seriousness, the food was pretty good and i'm all for boosting the street cred of the cooperfive in whatever way i can... word. i digress.

anyway, back to aim's comment. so, we're pretty much the only white people in the place and the waitress is taking our order. everyone's ordering some milkshakes and the waitress gets to aim:

aim: "what flavor do you recommend?"

waitress: "chocolate strawberry is good."

aim: "i'm kind of leaning toward the pina colada, but this seems more like a chocolate kind of place. i'll go with the chocolate banana."

no further questions, your honor.

grand prize winner: as expected, the odds-on favorite to run away with this year's most embarassing moment on the cooperthirteen family field trip did not disappoint. yes, ladies and gentlemen, the venerable kenna cooper ran away with the grand prize for the umpteenth consecutive time; however, this time, she really outdid herself.

picture this, a tour of the library of congress led by a tour guide without arms. that's right, no arms... pretty much from the shoulders down. both sides. very obvious to anyone who wasn't blind.

to the guide's credit, he was an excellent guide and seemed to be very gregarious and accomplished in spite of his disability. he had obviosuly overcome much and defied the odds to be where he was.

so adept was the guide at his job and ability to function in public that, apparently, he gave the impression that he was able to overcome just about anything... which may be why my mom felt it would be ok to ask him to take a picture of the family on the upper level of the library for us. let me be clear here, the man had no arms...not even prothestic limbs, and it was very obvious. it was probably no big deal though, i'm sure as an armless man he gets people asking him to take pictures for them all the time... probably as often as he gets people asking him to hold their kids while they use the restroom... except that it most likely never happens, unless of course you're lucky enough to have kenna jo in your tour group.

as i alluded to earlier, the guide seemed to be a pretty resilient guy and, as such, the request by my mom seemed to roll right off him as he offered to find someone to take the picture. for all we know, he may have cried himself to sleep that night, but i doubt it... most likely he took at as a compliment that his overall competency led my mom to believe he could do anything including take a picture, at least that's what some of us were telling ourselves after my mom asked him to do just that.

well done, mother. well done.

in closing, let me, again, say thank you to jeff and kenna for our adventures in the district. it had been a while since i had been there... in fact, i think reagan was president the last time i was there; however, i don't remember nearly as much paraphenelia for him as there seemed to be for barry obama this time around. seriously, it was like being at disneyland and you-know-who was mickey mouse. every museum, every street vendor, whole stores in strip malls all decicated to selling the latest in barry and michelle trinkets and knick knacks. i wouldn't have been surprised to have found the donkey-teers sitting on the steps of the capital singing: b-a-r-a-c-k o-b-a-m-a! barrak obama! etc. (i could have fun with that one... something about holding keeping the national debt high, high, high comes to mind... sorry, megan, i can't resist... it's my mom coming out in me).

actually, some of the highlights included: the jefferson memorial, the lincoln memorial, the vietnam memorial, the korean war memorial, the fdr memorial, the world war II memorial (and that was all just in the first night), the library of congress, the press club, capitol steps, ben's chili bowl, the smithsonian, the eastern market, the newseum, the capital. it was a lot of good stuff in a short amount of time. it will certainly go down in the annals of memorable cooperthirteen family excursions.

check out the pics.

iinitiate the blog

iinitiate the blog