Someone asked me yesterday when I first started writing and I incorrectly answered “2008”, which is when I started writing a weekly column for The Dartmouth. I didn’t realize this was incorrect until this morning, when I typed “DC” and “Kennedy” into my Gmail Archives, looking for an old DC contact.
I didn’t find that contact, but what I did find was an email that I haven’t thought about in years.
One of the thousands of trends I love about Dartmouth College is when students go abroad/on internships and send out massive email updates to their friends and family, telling them of their glorious travels to exhilirating places around the world.
I decided to do this in a faraway land called Washington DC, when I was working for the late Senator Ted Kennedy, from January-March 2007.
This was my first foray into writing for the masses. And not only the masses, but writing one update that I wanted to connect with my friends from home, my friends from school, my family, and eventually friends of my mom.
There is a very direct, very linear path between these updates and this blog today, mainly because the demographics of the audience hasn’t changed, just some of the characters.
I bring all this up, because reading over the one update that I saved (and all of the others that my friend Josie saved) it’s hilarious and refreshing to see how you wrote/thought about the world 4+ years ago. It’s also pretty wild to see how you’ve changed/haven’t changed in a pretty significant period of time.
(July 2011 Annotations in Bold Italic)
From: Rembert Browne
To: DC LIST
Sent: 2/26/2007 12:34 AM
Subject: The Misadventures of Rembert Molineaux Browne
What kind of name is that? I’m almost 20 and I don’t even know how to
begin to say my middle name. Way too many vowels… Way too French…
So, I’m writing this as I sit on the bus from NYC to DC watching “Soul
Plane” during Black History Month. Yep. No punch line.
I could list the reasons why “Soul Plane” and “Black History” should never be in the same sentence, essay, or book. It’s moments like these that make me realize something. Everyone needs time to be still and just think. Alone time is the best time. Throughout my time in DC, I have never had so much Rembert time in my life. Whether it is the 30 minutes walking to and from work every day, or the bus rides from NYC-DC and Dartmouth-DC, I love just sitting and having long, ridiculous conversations with myself. It’s sort of like when I was little and I’d play a 6 person game of Monopoly with myself (thanks mom) and still find a way to lose.
The past month since I last wrote have been ridonkulous.
*I met with John Lewis, everyone’s favorite ATL congressman and former civil rights leader. We talked for roughly an hour and talked about the ATL, his life, my life, and our favorite eating spots in Atlanta. I’m trying to get one more chat in with him before I leave, but he’s a busy old man. It happened. I got a picture. It’s framed at the crib.
*Went to some of Sen. Kennedy’s 75th birthday party. Too crunk.
*Bought some Pink, Purple, and Green Nike Dunks. So Fresh. Top 5 Purchase, ever.
*Bought a tie from the Men’s Wearhouse, wore it, and returned it 90 minutes later. Nothing has changed.
*Realized that I want to be a teacher. Oops
*Realized that I have a free haircut waiting on me at Supercuts in ATL (Get 9 haircuts, 10th one free, COME ON!)
*Giving the Zimrings a tour of the Capital and Senate.
*Having converstions with security guards while an AK-47 dangles from their neck.
*My intense bond with the cable-knit sweater vest. Only to hide mustard stains on the front of shirt from the previous wear.
*The 20 dollar NYC-DC Chinatown bus.
*Becoming a writer for a hip-hop blog with some Paideia alums (Mike Walbert, Future President Mitchell Robinson, et. Al) (http://hiphoppointofview.blogspot.com/). We’re good at what we do. Funny what can happen in 4 years…
*My catfish facial hair. Present.
*The Dixie chicks winning Grammy’s Bahaha such a wack thing to bring up.
*The 20 dollar NYC-DC Chinatown bus’s dedication to breaking down.
*Consistently hearing people say that Barack Obama isn’t Black. I heard one lady say, “He’s not Black, he’s an African, African American” I don’t even know what that means. He’s Black. You heard it hear. So Black. If anyone thinks otherwise, tell them to call me up. 404-643-3125. I’ll be glad to verbally scold someone via mobile. Always looking for an excuse to give out the digits.
So yea, I figure I’ll crank one more of these out before I leave Chocolate City, and it’ll probably be longer and worser (not a word) than this one. If I get a job with B. Hussein Obama (real middle name…) in the next three weeks, I’ll call each one of you individually. Until then, much love.
Some Housekeeping Notes…
*Matt Solomon – Thanks for letting me crash this weekend. Thanks for continuing to let me crash every weekend.
*Josie Duffy – Your sister friended me on facebook… Rosa doesn’t friend you. You friend Rosa. This was BIG.
*Courtney Davis – Yo mama work for FEMA… Top 5 “Yo Mama” joke.
*Mom – I’m good. SEND MONEY
*Ice Cube – “Are We There Yet”??? I can’t believe you made that. So rude.
*Ben Hansen – Willy Wonka Factory. Made this Young Dro-related inside joke 3 days ago… to Ben Hansen.
*Brad Hill – Did you ever smack DJ Clue? No idea what this means, but I like it.
*Jimmy Lowe – MTV will hire you if they find out how much you LOVE POP MUSIC. If you need a character reference, let me know. Because you love TRL. THIS. ACTUALLY. HAPPENED.
*Dartmouth Class of 2009 – Sophomore Summer… “Whipstock 07” Get Ready. They weren’t ready for Whipstock then and they aren’t ready now. WHIPSTOCK 2012, vol. 5 — 305 days.
Excerpt from Update 2, 1/21/2007 (Thank you Josie)
FRIDAY: WACK… until 6:00pm, when da stank hit da fan.
I’m about to go home and my boss tells me that I need to deliver a package to Kennedy’s first aid by 6:15… so…
I have 15 minutes to get to this seafood restaurant in Chinatown.
I get there, no Kennedy, they sent me to the wrong seafood restaurant.
I take another taxi to other seafood restaurant
Kennedy left restaurant 5 minutes before I got there.
Boss tells me I have to take a 3rd taxi to Kennedy’s house. (so broke…. send money and triscuits… I just ate my last triscuit. Triscuit first, money second.)
I get to Kennedy’s house (huge), no Kennedy in sight, so I drop off the package and realize I’m in the middle of DC with one dollar and a dwindling cell phone battery…
Next thing I know, I see a baby sitting on the corner… DC’s a rough city.
I digress, i start walking down the street and the Kennedy car drives past me, and I turn around when they get out the car to let them I know dropped the bag off.
The assistant invites me in, and then offers me a ride to the subway. (This is when the night goes from crazy to amazing)
Assistant realizes he left his keys at the restaurant, so we take a taxi back to the restaurant.
We get to the restaurant and as i’m about to walk to the subway, he invites me in to the restaurant for a second to warm up and meet some people
I go inside, where the dinner was actually a party with like 60 people.
That second turns into 45 minutes of meeting people, and eating upwards of 17 lobster rolls. I said “17 Lobster Rolls” b/c I was 19. I’m 24, and I really meant “17 Michelob Ultras”.
I finally leave, and catch the metro to American University just in time to see Blackalicious” perform (hey Rose).
IMPORTANT PEOPLE SEEN: Baby on the corner.
I’m not writing another one of these until I meet Obama or he announces he’s officially running on Oprah.
The joy I have after reading this hopefully will only be eclipsed by my reading of this blog at age 30. Can’t wait.
This completely sums up why I want everyone to write, mainly so you can be as embarrassed and pleased as I am in a few years.