Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Birthday Weekend

I don't know where to start.  "At the beginning," most of my friends would say.

I received a call early this morning and.............................I got the job!  
I start on Wednesday and I will be at the top of the stated salary range (woo!).  I must have done a good job on those tests, eh?  Expectations may be high.

I can't believe I have a job, actually.  I feel as though I've been looking for the One for most of my adult life.

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My friend Claire, a former colleague at the dental office in NYC, came down for Easter weekend.
She arrived late on Thursday night and on Friday we went downtown to see the few remaining cherry blossoms, and when I say few I mean next to none.  Remember the blossoms I captured a couple of weeks ago at the Smithsonian Castle gardens?  They are all gone now!  Even the weeping cherry tree is becoming bereft of blossoms.  And everywhere the blossoms had been there are now budding leaves.

After that, we visited the Freer Gallery next door.  It's a little gem of a place, filled with all sorts of Asian art and antiquities.  Well, not filled so much as tastefully arranged.







Bodhisattvas



Kongorikishi warrior (Japan, 12th-14th century)


A calligraphy hanging with vase, and a Japanese lacquer box with inkstone


Having rabbit radar, I spotted this before entering the room



Singh?





James McNeill Whistler


Whistler's Peacock Room - Fighting Peacocks, and the Princess of the Land of Porcelain


Delicate Egyptian relief





One of my aunts looks like this!





Loggia at the Freer Gallery
Top:  Labor supported by Science and Art
Bottom:  Law supported by Power and Love
Why?  I think that Labor requires science in its conception and art in its execution.  Law needs power in order to be carried out but love to prevent it from becoming oppressive.


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After the Freer we wandered over to the Smithsonian Castle which is also the SI Visitor's Center.








Despite never having stepped foot in America, James Smithson is interred here.  Why he bequeathed his fortune to the people of America for the advancement of knowledge, we may never know.  There is no way in the early 19th century he could foresee that this nascent nation would become a world power and thereby enable a spread of knowledge worldwide.  Think of all the advancements that have come out of the US in the 20th century alone.





A pier table and mirror in the hall where there is an exhibition of about 6 proposals for the new Museum of African American History, including one from Norman Foster



The Great Hall was lined with exquisite glass cases containing iconic American artifacts, from nature to technology

The Washington Monument





A little something for Flighty

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We tried to visit the Sculpture Gardens across the Mall but it was just closing for the evening, so we walked a few blocks to Chinatown


The Chinatown Gate.  Claire noted that, although NYC's Chinatown is much larger, it has no gate


On the way to the restaurant, we stopped in at the Teaism shop next to the teahouse, where the walls were lined with fabric tea boxes, teapots, and teacups


Stained glass at Rosa Mexicano, where we enjoyed a dinner of delights:
1) the best guacamole ever, prepared at the table
2) spicy chicken flautas and crab cakes with mango salsa
3) mini personal pitchers of Sangria
4) 3 types of sorbet, and a tres leches cake covered with soft meringue and topped with a birthday candle!

I was still full more than 3 hours later...

My next post will cover the subtle delights of Saturday, so stay tuned.

14 comments:

Glo said...

Wow! Congratulations on your success on the job front!! YAY! How exciting and wonderful!

Sounds like you had a lovely Easter birthday weekend, and again your visits to all of these fantastic and fascinating venues are so interesting to read and see.

I have one question though...does your aunt really have blue eyebrows?

(Sorry I couldn't resist...)

Looking forward to "staying tuned".

Selba said...

Congratulations on your new job!

Wooohooo... sounds that the fortune luck is at your side right now! Make sure to keep it for a long time, ok ;)

Can't wait for your coming post!!!

nikkipolani said...

Oh how I love boxes! And the lacquer box you photographed looks exquisite. Many many congrats on the job. Didn't we always say you're an impressive girl??

beginninghere said...

Liv - such good news about your new position. Yippee!! Wow, after such a long wait and various ups and downs. Now you can sink your teeth into something and get a paycheck too. I thought to myself, "finally someone recognizes a sharp gal when they see one!!!"

Your excursion/birthday celebration with Claire sounds so enjoyable. It is a very pleasant thing to have such memories.

Palm Springs Savant said...

I don't know where to start either...so I too shall start at the beginning. Congratulations on the job! You were rather ambitious with this post, so much ground to cover. Marvelous photos- the Peakcock room is fun, Smithsonian is quite the sight, isn't it? Glad you are having fun!

The Moody Minstrel said...

A real job making use of your multi-cultured linguisticness (my own term...sue me!), surrounded by all that culture and history, plenty of wonderful eating establishments at hand, and, well...you know. There's nothing like having your dreams suddenly start coming true, is there, m'lady?

Just be careful: all those good vibes emanating from you now might rub off on other people and disrupt the cynical balance of things! (smile on)

steve on the slow train said...

"'Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?'
'Begin at the beginning,' the King said gravely, 'and go on till you come to the end: then stop.'"

I think your familiarity with such Victorian classics as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has made your writing style lively and a delight to read. But congratulations on your new job!

The Freer Gallery was closed in 1973 when Kathleen and I were on our honeymoon, and somehow we've managed to miss it the other times we were in D.C. We've got to see the Peacock Room someday.

I've heard that because Smithson was illegitimate, he he gave his money to a country where such matters of birth were less important than in his home country.

Again, congratulations, and belated happy birthday!

Guyana-Gyal said...

I don't know how, I just 'felt' it, that you'd get the job you like, in Washington. It really is your place, isn't it?

Oh, you changed the pic. in the header...but I figure, you don't want to be 'boxed' in by just one image. Nice idea.

I enjoyed your tours, the blossoming friendship...okay, okay, romance, with Jeff...this is your year, Olivia.

Olivia said...

Glo - thank you! J and I have a growing list of adventures so there will be many more fun blogs to come.

Haha! No, my aunt does not have blue eyebrows. You got me there!


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Selby - I am hanging on to Fortune and not letting her escape my grip, ever again!


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Nikki - I love boxes too :)
Thank you for encouraging me through those dark days...


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BH - I am so excited about the paycheck that is being given to me for work I am doing in a job I got through my own merit. Ahhhh, I can almost hear the self esteem being restored.


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Rick - didn't we eat at a Peacock lounge in the Waldorf Astoria? And last week J walked me through the lobby of the Willard (?) hotel here where there was yet another Peacock room. What is with these birds?


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Minstrel - I heartily agree with you on every point.

You didn't know me in Texas, but I was a very optimistic person so this is not so much a change as a return to the original!


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Steve - I have been reading Victorian classics and novels since before I can remember so I imagine the tone has seeped into my subconscious. I am glad you pointed it out!

Interesting speculation on Smithson's illegitimacy. That's all we can do now, though, is theorize over his motives.


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GG - you and a lot of others felt it probably before I did. Everything that has happened since I arrived here has been completely different to anything that preceded it.

I will periodically change my header photo, it is more fun that way!

Indeed I was determined that 2009 should be my year. God is good.

crazykites said...

So pleased you landed THE job!!! Well done, big well done. Tell me more about it. Heard your voice post, you remind me of Audrey Hepburn ever so slightly...v well spoken. Glad you had a nice weekend with all the sight seeing.

Olivia said...

Kites - thanks :)
6 years in London just temping with not even 5 invitations to interviews, and here I am in DC for two months and I land THE job. Amazing.

In the 90s my cousins used to tell me I looked like Audrey. Back then I used to do Diana eyes too, which seems to be coming back now...

Flighty said...

Sorry that I'm so late commenting on this post! I read it and was going to comment later then forgot!
Congratulations on the job and good luck for tomorrow.
This is a lovely post full of interest and great photos. Thanks for thinking of, and mentioning, me. xx

Jo said...

I've been out of town, so I'm terribly sorry for taking so long to say CONGRATULATIONS ON THE JOBBIE!!! I knew that you'd make the big time in no time in D.C.!

Also, I have a mean case of the wanties over that teapot!

Love, love, love! And Congrats!

Um Naief said...

love all the pics... especially the bunny and the teapot. love the long ears on that bunny.... adorable really.

what's your job? was thinking i might find it here in the post, but didn't. i read above where you're editing documents... that sounds most interesting. i have a friend in azerbaijan... funny you should mention that country. :)

love seeing all the pics.. and glad you're keeping in touch w/ your friends from NYC.

the gate at china town is beautiful...