Saturday, June 20, 2009

from artistic to lowbrow in one post

I went museum hopping with my friend from out of town. He'd gone out with colleagues last night--and I went to the ballet with other friends--and this would be a good chance to catch up and also guide him through DC's offering of museums. We started with the National Gallery-- I figured that was a must-see--and after lunch at Teaism, I thought it would be good to go to the Sackler.

I LOVE the Sackler-- it's probably the museum I've been too more than any other. I love the Monkeys Grasping for the Moon, I love the surrounding gardens, I love the permanent exhibits, and I usually whatever special exhibits they have, which in today's case didn't disappoint. Nonetheless, I didn't feel comfortable bypassing the National Gallery, and I'm glad we didn't.

After our very pleasant stroll through the sculpture garden and then the other various gardens between Teaism and the Sackler, we walked into the museum. I heard my name, turned around. It was Em!

Em: A.!??
A.: Emily!

Emily introduced me to Dina. I introduced her to David.

Em: Oh, so you're the one who took her away from my happy hour?
David: She told me she was looking for an excuse to get out of it.

That's actually a long story. David and I were initially going to go out Friday night, to a poetry reading at the Middle East Institute, in it's beautiful courtyard, but between making those plans--and telling Em I wouldn't make the happy hour, thus arranging to go out for coffee instead, David discovered he'd be going out with colleagues on Friday, so he and I went out on Thursday. I told Em as much, in the interest of full disclosure, and told her I'd be too much of a zombie for the happy hour anyway--and later that I'd be going to the ballet that night--and she was cool with it, especially since we'd have coffee. This is more than you need to know, but I didn't want you to think that I'd run out on my friend's going-away happy hour.

Em's move is an end of an era for me at work. It is and it isn't-- she's relocating to our Seattle office, so she'll even be on the same e-mail--but it'll be weird to not have her nearby. When I first started, it was she that welcomed me to the cuberhood, showed me the ropes. And eventually militarized my cube with plastic army men in various combat scenes.

At coffee on Tuesday, she asked me if I wanted her collection of Indian spices, since she wouldn't be taking them with her across the country, and I gladly accepted, told her I had just run out of turmeric. She told me she had plenty of turmeric.

Things like this, by the way, are another reason, in addition to the overarching reason that is rent, that I keep my roommate around. I am aware that without people like him, I'm in danger of surrounding myself entirely with people exactly like me, and that's just not healthy. I mentioned as much to David on Thursday. Turmeric is a part of his pantry, too.

I swung by Em's cube on Friday to collect the spices. She'd forgotten them at home, will bring them by when she pops into the office next week to get the rest of her stuff.

A.: I love that dress! It's a great style.
Em: Thanks! I do like the whole wrap dress thing, and thanks to you I know who Diane Von Furstenberg is.
A.: You didn't know before?
Em: Nope; you told me.
A.: How did that come up? I do remember introducing you to Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Em: You did that, too.
A.: And in return, you introduced me to Dickipedia.
Em: I did!

Later, at the museum, we headed down to the Tsars and the East exhibit together. I'd seen it once, quickly, when Wendy was here, before the concert at the Freer, but it only got better with a second look.

Em: Did you see that video?
A.: I did. I sent it to my mom so she could stop bugging me about what I'm doing with my life.
Em: I sent it to everyone I know.
A.: Part of me is loath to spread around anything to do with Lou Dobbs.
Em: That's true, he's such a dick!
A.: OMG, we should check his Dickipedia page!
Em: You know he has one.
A.: He must!
David: Who's that?
A.: Lou Dobbs? He's a ranting populist/racist television "reporter" that is constantly seeking new ways to blame immigrants--especially those from Mexico--for all the nation's problems.
David: Seems you have a few ranting TV reporters.
A.: Yeah-- the others have more diverse portfolios. Nativism is his niche. But he did report on our workplace, so there's an inoffensive three-minute clip of his show floating around.

We enjoyed exploring the rest of the exhibit together. I wish they could stay in town longer, but they'll both come back from time to time for work travel if nothing else. That's another nice thing about DC-- people are always coming through for work, and you get to see them. And they get you out to the places you love, but that for some reason, you don't usually get to otherwise. And they get you out to new places, too.

There's a lot going on here. We object to the DC is newly hip chatter. In January, a cloud was lifted off the entire country, not just the capital.

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