Saturday, December 17, 2005

Such sad news about John Spencer

I was absolutely shocked to hear this--I can't imagine "The West Wing" without Leo:

'West Wing' Actor John Spencer Dies at 58

I will always remember this speech when Leo talks to Josh after his all-day session with a trauma counselor in "Noel:"

"This guy's walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can't get out.

"A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up, 'Hey you. Can you help me out?' The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.

"Then a priest comes along, and the guy shouts up, 'Father, I'm down in this hole--an you help me out?' The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on

"Then a friend walks by, 'Hey, Joe, it's me, can you help me out?' And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, 'Are you stupid? Now we're both down here.' The friend says, 'Yeah, but I've been down here before, and I know the way out.'"
Then there was Big Block of Cheese Day:

"President Andrew Jackson, in the main foyer of his White House, had a big block of cheese."


". . . It is in the spirit of Andrew Jackson that I, from time to time, ask senior staff to have face-to-face meetings with those people representing organizations who have a difficult time getting our attention. I know the more jaded among you see this as something rather beneath you. But I assure you that listening to the voices of passionate Americans is beneath no one, and surely not the people's servants."

And Leo was always able to inspire the President and his staff with words like these:

"This is the time of Jed Bartlet, old friend. You're gonna open your mouth and lift houses off the ground. Whole houses, clear off the ground."
There's more Leo quotes here.

Leo McGarry was the heart and soul of the West Wing's White House, and John Spencer was absolutely perfect in that role. Leo's defense of Josh to Santos and the DNC guys in last week's episode was classic--Leo always sticks up for the people he loves and the things he believes in.

Anyway, I can't imagine how the show will deal with John's death--he will be so very, very missed.

Five more working days until I leave my job. It's been a long, slow slog, but I think I will make it. This week will be crammed packed with goodbyes, an office luncheon, gift exchanges, and continued training for the person who's taking my place. I'm finding it hard to believe that on Friday I'll walk out of there and never come back. Everything I'm doing right now has an air of finalness to it that feels weird. However, I'm finally starting to think about the new job and the future, and I'm getting excited. It will be so good to start a new job on a positive note, not struggling to survive. I hate leaving all my friends, but I can't wait to get started.

There have been some fiber and fiber-related purchases, but I can't talk about them here because Santa would kick my butt if I spoiled the surprise. I do have one question, though--is it wrong to buy someone a gift and buy another one for yourself at the same time? I'm just considering them (yes, it's more than one--I have very good taste) early Christmas gifts.

We have snow in the forecast today, so Maggie and I are snuggled in and don't plan on venturing into the great outdoors much at all. There will be knitting involved, and maybe a nap.


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