Capitol Hill

Watch: Staffers leap from the Hill to the improv stage
Heard on the Hill crashes improv rehearsal with a few staffers

Sam Schifrin and Geoff Corey, center, dive into an improv scene on Monday. Washington Improv Theater Executive Director Mark Chalfant is seen at right. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

Why D.C. isn’t too uptight for improv
From the Capitol to K Street, staffers are saying ‘yes, and…’

Sam Schifrin and Geoff Corey, center, dive into an improv scene on Monday. Washington Improv Theater Executive Director Mark Chalfant is seen at right. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

Inside a bare room with concrete walls, they walk toward each other and lock eyes. “Johnny!” one shouts. “Stacy — did it happen?” the other responds.

Neither has any idea what they’re talking about, but that’s OK. This is improv, where uncertainty is a feature, not a bug.

The Eastern is one more reason to ‘wine’ about August recess
Does the world need another wine bar? No, but the Hill does

Bar manager and sommelier Daphne McDermott preps for the opening of the Eastern, a new wine bar in Eastern Market. (Kathryn Lyons/CQ Roll Call)

The Eastern — a new wine bar not-so-creatively named after its digs in the Eastern Market neighborhood — is set to open July 30, just in time for Hill staffers to sneak out of August workdays a little early to snag a deal at happy hour. 

“Midcentury modern” is the vibe, with a large front window that lights gold accents and deep green walls. The Eastern might offer a different atmosphere than its whiskey-soaked sister bar, Barrel, just across the street, but owners Matthew Weiss and Mike Schuster insist they want the mood to be “unpretentious and fun.”

Rep. Will Hurd ‘honored’ to shave constituent’s head
Lisa Sanders, who lost her daughter in 2007 to a brain tumor, ‘braved the shave’ for cancer research fundraiser

Rep. Will Hurd shaves Lisa Sanders' head at a fundraiser for childhood cancer research on Tuesday. (Courtesy St. Baldrick's Foundation)

Rep. Will Hurd helped a hometown hero “brave the shave” Tuesday at a fundraiser for childhood cancer research.

The Texas Republican shaved the head of Lisa Sanders from Helotes, Texas, at a “46 Mommas” event hosted by St. Baldrick's Foundation — a volunteer- and donor-powered charity focused on curing childhood cancer, according to its website.

How long is 4 miles in the shadow of the Capitol?
Horton’s Kids brings Congress east of the river, but gap still remains

Nathan Woods came to the Capitol with Horton’s Kids in the 1990s. (Courtesy Horton’s Kids)

Nathan Woods can still hear the gunshots outside his D.C. home in the early ’90s. He grew up in Wellington Park, a neighborhood less than four miles from the lobbying and lawmaking of Capitol Hill.

When he was a sophomore at Woodberry Forest High School, an all-boys boarding school down in Virginia, he got the call: His oldest brother, Errick, had been shot in the head. By the time he got to the hospital, his brother was dead.

You may now Kinzinger the bride
Illinois congressman liked it so he put a ring on it

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger announced his engagement Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Adam Kinzinger kicked off the weekend ahead of the Fourth of July with his own set of fireworks. Per his latest Instagram post, the Illinois Republican is engaged.

“She said: yes!” reads the caption.

Diamonds are Reps. Linda Sánchez and Nanette Barragán’s best friend
Female lawmakers take the baseball field following Title IX anniversary

Rep. Linda Sánchez, here in 2015, is one of two women who will play in the Congressional Baseball Game this year. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Even though Reps. Linda Sánchez and Nanette Barragán will be the lone female lawmakers at Nationals Park, surrounded by more than 70 male colleagues and coaches, the only thing that might give it away is their ponytails. Sporting cleats, batting helmets and their favorite jerseys, they’re just some of the guys.

“They treat us like equals. They make us work just as hard,” Barragán told me of her male teammates after one of their last practices before Wednesday night’s Congressional Baseball Game.

King of the road trip: Maine senator treks home after canceled flight
Angus King went to bed while you were waking up

Maine Sen. Angus King , center, and his fellow road-trippers. (Courtesy Office of Sen. Angus King)

Angus King stayed up way past your bedtime Thursday night. He wasn’t out partying (though he’ll tell you he had a great time) — he was road tripping from D.C. to Maine. The nearly nine-hour trek was a result of storms in Portland and a canceled flight out of Washington.

After sitting on the runway at Reagan National Airport for at least an hour waiting for skies to clear, the plane’s captain came over the intercom to give already annoyed passengers even worse news: They’d have to find another way home.

Is Tim Kaine a Swiftie? Senator signs musician’s petition to pass Equality Act
Tim Kaine is the latest lawmaker to sign her Change.org petition

Former governor and U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine at an economic roundtable with veterans at Infinity Technology in Fairfax, Va.. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tim Kaine is the latest politician to hop on board the Taylor train which, I might add, is moving quite swiftly.

The Democratic senator joined his colleagues (and presidential candidates) Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker in signing Taylor Swift’s Change.org petition, which urges the U.S. Senate to pass the Equality Act. The bill, passed in the House last month, would bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

This senator lost one son, but gained another
Death and murder shook his family, but Father’s Day is still a time of joy for Kevin Cramer

Kevin and Kris Cramer, center, pose for a family photo. Son Isaac, far right, died last year. (Courtesy Kevin Cramer)

Father’s Day at Kevin Cramer’s house is “wonderfully chaotic,” as the senator puts it, even with grief still fresh. It’s not much different from any other weekend: Four kids and five rambunctious grandchildren running around, plus a big piece of meat on the grill — maybe a burger, maybe moose.

“You can eat moose?” I ask skeptically.