January 19, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog.

So, it's been an interesting few days. I put everything I owned into a Penske truck and my cat and I are now in Kentucky once again. More on that later, though.

Bailey and I went to Mount Vernon, Washington's home, on Thursday. It is absolutely a must-see. If you get to DC and have a car with you, GO. It's 12 square miles of his life--he was proudest, it is said, of being a farmer, and Mount Vernon is a testament to that. He had a very precise 7-year crop rotation in order to care for the soil. He thought of new and crafty ways to do farm chores, in order to minimize the amount of time he (and yes, his slaves) spent outside in the cold months. You can tell he also loved the house, doing constant renovations and spending as much time as he had there. Which, admittedly, was not that much. But going to Mount Vernon you get a great sense of Washington the man.

Then Kerrie came, pregnant though she is, to help me move out. She said she had wanted to visit before I moved, and it was her last chance to do that. So, pregnant though she is, she agreed to lug my boxes and boxes full of crap into a Penske truck in exchange for fun times in DC.

I took her to the Air & Space Museum, "the world's most popular museum," mostly because she's in the Air Force and they have USAF planes and memorabilia in there, which I thought she would be interested in. Plus, it's the most visited museum in the world so I felt like if she's only going to go to a few, that one was worth seeing.

Boy, is that museum overwhelming. It's worth going to, yes, but it's wordswordswords everywhere. I mean, I know museums are for learning and putting images with facts and learning the facts based on what is in front of your face, and I think that's great, but one can only read so much. Plus, this place is huge, absurdly big, and every time you turn around you realize you missed an entire wing, and how is that possible? So it's hard to deal with all that.

So we went to what may be its polar opposite, the American History Museum, or "America's Attic." This is the place where Dorothy's ruby red slippers are housed next to Rocky's boxing gloves and Apollo Ohno's skates and Kermit the Frog. It's fun and requires little to no reading, and even less learning. I feel like I sound like a giant moron, but you should see that place, it's just. Words. And if you're spending over an hour looking at planes and spaceships and trying to take in information that is almost entirely new--well, I didn't prepare for it. I prepared more for like, "This is John Glenn's spaceship, the Friendship 7." And "Orville and Wibur Wright are from Ohio. Here is the plane they made." So I went to a museum much more like that: "Jim Henson made this puppet and named him Kermit. Isn't he cute?" Completely what I was looking for in a weekend that was already overwhelming.

We also went to the National Portrait Gallery, which I won't bore you with again, as I am virtually certain you all know how I feel about it. Kerrie and I also loved the courtyard. I wonder how much money they would charge for a wedding reception? It seems like the perfect place for that sort of thing but then again, it's the Smithsonian and they run entirely on donation, and it's a great space, and also, why am I thinking about this?

Kerrie also wanted to see some of the monuments, so we did that. I'll post photos here or on the Book as soon as I get my main computer set up. We did the main strip, seeing Washington, Lincoln, and WWII. Lincoln is just. It's really incredible. It was also MLK weekend, so the spot of his famous speech was marked with a wreath and placard.

Then I made one last trip to Ben's Chili Bowl, which gained fame in 08 when Obama made a stop there during his campaign. It's an incredible meal. If Bill Cosby says it's good, well. Also Wale and Lady Gaga did a music video outside there, which is funny to me, because it's, like, a giant hole in the wall. Whatever, it's incredible.

So then on Sunday Kerrie and I loaded up the Penske with everything (and everyone) I own, and drove the 10 hours to Northern Kentucky. And here I am. It's hard to explain how I feel about it, because I enormously relieved, and ready to not be stressed out about a number of things, mostly involving money. (We did find a subletter, and I like her quite a bit. I feel like I would be friends with her if I were staying, which is a good feeling when you're leaving your best friend with someone who is basically a stranger.) I am also ready to not live in a town where people often put themselves first in everything from the Metro escalator to the grocery line to work to traffic circles. It's sometimes absurd. JFK called it a city of "Southern efficiency and Northern Charm." Southern efficiency doesn't bother me. But I can't live there. It was a great place to be for six months, and I'm very glad that I did it, but I'm also very glad that I'm no longer doing it.

As for living in my mother's basement. Well, it could be worse, I guess, but it's just not where I wanted to be at this stage in my life. It's disappointing and frustrating and yes, a little humiliating. But I guess it happens to a lot of people. Right? Ugh, I need a job.

Just before I left, I was depressed and needed something to look forward to, so I (somewhat idiotically) booked a flight to LA to visit Dominic in early April.
http://www.bored.com/makecountdowns/show.php?id=194171 (I blame him for this, because he asked me how long until I land, and, ever one for accuracy, I linked him. Regardless, it's making me happy. Mission accomplished.)

I don't know what I'm going to do if I get a job before then, because, like, it's an 8 day trip. But I'll figure that out if/when it happens.

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