This is Joe's friend Scott.
This is Scott's wife Jen.
This is their living room in their beautiful home in Alexandria, Virginia.
Joe and Scott have been friends since their early college days at the University of Minnesota. In fact, Joe has an amazing group of 5 friends who remain close even though every one of them lives in a different state, Virginia, Montana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and us in Minnesota. As a woman who's married into this posse, I find it a peculiar place to be at times. I think most of us who have married these men have felt some sort of exasperation bordering on awe at times when one of these fellows have appeared in our lives, unexpected, and they are able to pick up where they left off with none of the baggage that sometimes comes with female reunions. It's a beautiful thing - friendship like that, and this was one of those times we were so grateful for an excuse to lean on it. It was also a reason that Joe and I weren't beg, borrowing, and stealing to get into one of the Inaugural Balls. We had these awesome friends to catch up with and could have our own little party with them.
Now is the time that I tell you a couple of things you won't quite believe, but I assure you they are true. Scott works for the Department of Energy in their nuclear non-proliferation program securing nuclear weapons from crossing borders. The night before our arrival he returned from a 10 day trip to Pakistan and Armenia. Not too long ago, I think after Emerson was born, Scott stopped by our house while in Minnesota and he was busy learning Chinese because he was going to be doing some work in that country for a couple of months. During the late 1990's they lived in Russia (speaks fluent Russian) and he helped retrain former Russian nuclear scientists in other vocations so they wouldn't use their expertise on the nuclear black market. He used to work at the United Nations. He moonlights as a DJ and likes dance music too. See, I said you wouldn't believe me, and I'm sure I got a few things wrong and Scott would correct me, but I got the gist right. Scott's an important guy and it blows our minds every time we see him. But, to Joe, he's DJ Roko, from Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Jen is no less important, as she does work that heals souls while Scott's work heals our addiction to the toys of war. She's a licensed Social Worker and works as a group therapist and advocate for the City of Alexandria's sexual assult center. We hadn't seen these two for a couple of years, and they'd moved since Joe was there for Scott's 30th birthday. All great excuses to head to Washington for friendship, laughs, and a bit of history to boot. Admittedly, they weren't as geeked up as Joe and I were about the inaugural festivities, but they were excited about Barack and a regime change in Washington.