Friday, October 09, 2009

Synaptic Reality

(Oh geesh, I am sitting here typing and there are those teensy sugar ants running in and out of the keyboard! Must be time for the bug lady to show up.) Guess these little guys are the only sugar allowed in my life these days.

We got back from Washignton DC last night to 92 degrees, not what I had hoped for but ya takes what ya gits, as my father used to say. It's 6 AM, I've been awake for 2 hours and have the weeks ration of McCanns oatmeal bubbling on the stove so it should be ready by the time I am about to eat the plates. This is actually TY's birthday breakfast, and oh do I ever have grand things planned for that. Raisins! Brown sugar! Party on down!

But about Washington- We took a tour of the Capital which, even with advance tickets, involved standing in line for over an hour to enter. Then there were check in points and more lines to stand in. Finally we were led to our guide for the tour, unfortunately an old dottering woman who had a shrill cackling voice. We were all handed headsets so we could hear her and from that moment things went down hill fast. She talked to herself while on mic. Mumbled and cussed and berated the tour. She kept screaming through our headsets to back up against the wall or get over close to me, here, no HERE, no back up, move over, stand THERE! She was slow, she was uninformed, and it was simply awful but once in a tour you are not allowed to veer off on your own. We were stuck, or so I thought. Until this:

Yup. A complete standstill as we were headed down some stairs. I liked the floor but I could have laid down on it and snoozed because we were not allowed to move.
Here is TY waving up at me. This sucked, and all because of this:
The Dalai Lama was in the building and we all heard a guard telling our still amplified guide that 'he is moving through the rotunda' and we can't venture forth. So I came 'this close' to catching a glimpse of him, but got a good view of his car and all the security around him.

Thanks to this austere hunk of marble I can blog whatever I want and not go to church. This is Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and we all owe her a thank you. If she were here she could have some oatmeal, but I think she looks a little disapproving. Maybe she won't get my oatmeal.

Great looking building, eh? Don't let good looks deceive you. This is the brand new National Indian Museum that is stunning in it's design. They used an adobe like material over the facade, and it was full of wonderful undulating lines. The grounds were landscaped with corn and squash plants, and amazing tall grasses. Lovely courtyard that just calls out for performances, and a grand round area just inside that resembles a central gathering area in a village. This is surrounded by copper 'fencing' woven in panels as they taught the colonists to do. Visually beautiful, and I bet as it ages and gains patina it will be even better.

But, as they say, there isn't any 'there' there. Their current exhibit is about Indian skateboarding. There was a board with all the different kinds of wheels used over the years, then the rest was pictures. Yawn. Pictures on top of pictures. Needless to say I skipped quickly over the whole thing. Beautiful bathrooms! One thing they do have is gift shop. Yup, gift shop on every floor, all prominent and all carrying the same merchandise. I certainly hope that the museum will fill up with meaningful displays and exhibit and eventually take over some of the gift shop spaces. OK, enough of a rant, at least it didn't cost us any more money than the parking meter. 8 minutes per quarter.

And now, NO pictures because our second day was taken up with our PRIVATE tour of the CIA Museum, arranged for us by a friend who is tied in. Now let me tell you, TY starts complaining abut his knees by the second room in any museum we enter- 'It's the cement floors!', he says. Well the CIA building is all cement and marble and I didn't hear a peep about his knees for three hours. He was in doggy heaven in this place, and our tour was given by the curator herself. Now I was impressed- I've done my share of docent-ing but this woman was supurb. She was the most knowledgeable and informed tour guide I have ever had and we all simply lost ourselves in this amazing experience. Of course getting in was a bit of a hassle, through all those check points, past all the guards and digging around in my purse for ID (which we had to submit along with our SS#s well in advance.) I'm not really very interested in war and history and politics and government stuff but this held me fascinated for hours.

And did you know that the CIA has a gift shop? Yup, we toted a CIA mug home with us. I also got a set of those Russian ('Matryushka') dolls within dolls within dolls but mine have roaring hippopotomusses on them for my granddaughter. Loved every second there.

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