Well, first I went to a pre-interview test, but let's just say...have you ever walked into a place and wanted to walk right back out before anyone noticed you'd arrived? Yeah, it was like that.
But it was a gorgeous day, around 10C/51F with dazzling sun and a mild breeze, so I decided that rather than going home, I'd stick around downtown. Deciding to skip the metro, I was lost around Dupont Circle for nearly half an hour wondering which way to go and not remembering which had been the correct way to my original destination for when (if?) I go back next week for the interview.
I waited for a bus for a few minutes but I have no patience for that kind of thing, so I used my feet instead, which feels much more productive. In fact, from leaving home to returning at night, I walked a total of 6 miles on this day.
I headed south a little too soon so ended up at the western end of the Mall, to the west of the Washington Memorial. Needing a little rest, I sat at a bench in Constitution Gardens overlooking the water. I felt SO HAPPY in the moment that I sent a picture message entitled "Peace" to my dear friends Diva, Pandy, and Amy. Diva enjoyed it so much that she blogged about it, and sent me a return image of her own "Peace"! Indeed I agree with her in that the wonder of modern technology allowing you to share special moments with your friends thousands of miles away can be quite miraculous.
As soon as I'd texted them, a couple of ducks came waddling over, female in the lead, male bringing up the rear just like a couple going shopping. She stood there quietly pleading for some lunch while her hubby stayed in the background preening. Craning her neck as high as she could and peering up at my lap with her big brown eyes, she'd look down from time to time to inspect the floor or nibble my toe, convinced I had a sandwich and insisting I could share it with her. I leaned over, talking to her and showing her my empty hands, and I am sure people walking past thought I was off my rocker.
Hello there, large two-legged being.
Do you have any lunch?
Hm, your toe looks tasty.
The Canada geese have been arriving over the past weeks, and are out in full force grazing on the open green spaces.
Looking West on the Mall
Looking East on the Mall
By the time I finish blogging about all these museums, you will know what's at all the Washington DC compass points!
The splendid Environmental Protection Agency sits across the road from the Museum of American History.
Soon I was at the museum learning all about American history and it brought all that book-larnin' to life for me.
The collections and exhibitions encompass so many interesting things such as:
Nuclear power and the Manhattan Project
The 1950s middle class housing boom
Julia Child's Kitchen (she was the American Fanny Craddock/Delia Smith)
The patented DuPont Oncomouse (the first patented animal developed to receive the cancer gene for research)
The Texas Supercollider
CFCs and the Ozone Layer
L, top: A Renaissance automaton, the Walking Monk. When wound up, he rolls forward turning his head from side to side, opening his mouth, rolling his eyes, and beating his hand on his chest while holding a rosary with the other. There was a video showing a complete version in robes and church paraphernalia.
L, bottom: An early 20th century chemical laboratory
Center: "Stanley" won the DARPA Challenge 2005, one of many robotic cars competing to make their own driving decisions. In case of emergency, they can be overriden to go remote control.
R: A small cross-section of the Texas Superconducting Supercollider, a giant project which Congress closed down in 1993 but which was supposed to be the largest atom smasher in the world. It has now been replaced by CERN underneath Switzerland/France.
Let me know if you're interested in finding out what exactly is accomplished by smashing atoms. I could rustle up a blog post about it...
Or anything else. Please cast a vote for what you would like to read about.
FLIGHTY, the following is especially for you, part of one of those neat little glass cases stuffed full of little accoutrements, the best snapshot of an era.
WWII Ration Book. One coupon for meat, fats, fish, and cheeses. Another for 5 lbs of sugar. There were also mileage and gas coupons for motorists.
In the next installment, we will learn about the Star Spangled Banner and the First Ladies' gowns.