Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I slipped onto a crowded Metro train this morning, and made my way past the people crowded around the doors, to find a place where I could easily hold onto a pole with one hand and balance my book in the other, as the train pulled out of the station. (I’ve decided to read Taylor Branch’s civil rights histories. I am finding that 1,000-page books are not the easiest books to manage on public transit.)

“Excuse me, girl,” the man sitting to my left said, as we pulled into the next station. I looked down at him, a stout, older man, probably in his seventies, with white hair and a mustache. “Excuse me, girl.”

“Yes, sir?”

“What station is this?”

Arlington Cemetery.”


Arlington Cemetery,” I repeated, raising my voice.

“Thank you, dear.” When he said that, he reminded me of The Husband’s grandfather. No one got off the train and the station was empty. The train pulled away, and I went back to reading my book.

“Excuse me, girl. Excuse me, girl.”


“What station is this?”

“Rosslyn.” I started out loud this time.

“Rosslyn?” I nodded. “Thank you, dear.”

People behind me were trying to exit the train, so I moved ahead of them and stepped off, then reboarded. It was less crowded now, but there were still no seats. I leaned against one of the poles across from the old man, trying to finish my chapter as the train crossed below the Potomac. Looping my arm around the pole to keep myself steady as the train slowed, I tucked the book into my backpack as we approached the Foggy Bottom station

“Excuse me, girl.” His voice seemed louder this time, now that the train was emptier and I was a few feet away. Perhaps he felt he had to raise his voice to be certain I heard him from where I was. Or perhaps I was beginning to feel self conscious. “Excuse me, girl.”

“Yes, sir?”

“What station is this?”

“Foggy Bottom.” I hoisted my backpack back onto my back and touched my coat pocket to make sure my wallet and farecard were still there.

“Is this your stop?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Thank you for your help, dear.”

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A romantic little story for Valentine's Day

Last week, Miss Doxie told a wonderfully silly riddle. Over the weekend, I repeated it to The Husband.

What's green and fuzzy, and if falls out of a tree and lands on you, it will kill you?


And he laughed, and said that yes, that was the funniest riddle he'd heard all day, but he also said that he was laughing because I was giggling so much.

As we were putting away laundry on Sunday night (we are so exciting), I riddled him, "What's red and shiny, and if it falls out of a tree and lands on you, it will kill you?"

"A Corvette?" he ventured.

"No, a--well, yes. But NO. A MINI COOPER."

He laughed, and then made me keep putting away clothes.

Last night, while dinner was in the oven, I lay down on the couch with my feet in his lap.

"What's grey and scaly, and if it falls out of a tree and lands on you, it will kill you?" He raised his eyebrows. "A Brontosaurus."

He laughed again. And that is why I am in love with him. (He obviously loves me for my high-brow sense of humor. And my enchilada recipe.)

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Weather reports all last week had me hopeful that we would get some real snow this weekend, but I lost hope watching rain fall all yesterday morning and during the afternoon. By dinner time, the rain had turned into snowflakes, but I still doubted that it would stick at all.

I woke up with this outside my window:

Snowy yard

God bless the weatherman.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Um, hi.

So about that post from last night? I’m not actually a drunk twenty-year-old. Although you may have mistaken me for one if you had seen me giggling at the computer while I typed. I was going to take down the post, but you know what? It sort of amuses me, so I’ll let it stay.

It was so good to be out last night, after spending so much time lately staying in. It isn’t unusual for The Husband and me to be fairly antisocial during the month of January. After the madness of the holidays, which we spend in California, running around trying to see everyone that we haven’t seen in the last six months or even a year, and coming home to spend a quiet New Year and anniversary together, disappearing into the Land of Two just happens naturally. This January we were particularly reclusive, with both of us having deadlines for work on the 31st, and at least one of us always seeming to have a cold. We went out to dinner a couple of times when we were too tired to cook, and we saw movies when we thought our coughing and sniffling were minimal enough to avoid offending other movie-goers, and the rest of the time we just moved between home and our offices.

But the deadlines have passed and we are mostly rid of our colds, so last night we went out with friends for First Fridays at the galleries of Dupont Circle. First Fridays happens the first Friday (I know!) of every month. The galleries open their new exhibits and serve free wine and cheese to anyone who stops in. The Husband and I have probably attended a dozen times in the four years we’ve lived here, visiting a few galleries and then heading over to a nearby restaurant for more substantial food. Last night we went to the galleries with a friend from grad school, and then were met at a restaurant by another friend.

We made it to two galleries before I got impatient. The Kathleen Ewing Gallery had some beautiful nature photographs, including some black-and-white shots of the Utah desert that reminded me of Ansel Adams, and some close-ups of flowers that one could almost mistake for Georgia O’Keeffe paintings. I couldn’t get excited about the main exhibit there—it simply wasn’t the sort of thing that draws me in. We also went to the Washington Printmakers Gallery, which The Husband and I always make a point of visiting during First Fridays, partly because we know one of the artists there, but also because we love so much of the art. While some of it isn’t really my style, I am nearly always intrigued by the techniques, and I am impressed by the variety of art that can be produced through printmaking.

After two galleries, I found myself urging The Husband and our friend on to Rosemary’s Thyme, a bistro with good food that offers half-priced bottles of wine before 7:30. We sat for several hours, enjoying a couple of bottles of wine (one was the Liberty School syrah, which I highly recommend, although I am not a wine connoisseur, or even a somewhat well-informed wine snob, so you might not want to pay any attention to me on that one), eating some Turkish appetizers, which were delicious, and some pasta dishes, which I probably wouldn’t order again. Oh, and there were a couple of slices of Godiva chocolate cheesecake, which actually had a sort of cinnamon flavor to them, which I loved and which The Husband could have done without. We ate and we drank and we gossiped and WE SAT OUTSIDE IN FEBRUARY because oh my god the weather, it was beautiful.

After a month of acting like a hermit, it felt good to visit with friends, to laugh and talk and be social. I had four or five glasses of wine over the course of probably three hours, which was enough to make my head spin as I attempted to step onto an escalator into the Metro station at the end of the night and to make me think that blogging was a FANTASTIC idea when I got home and to leave me feeling rather hungover for much of today. Because, yes, I have the tolerance of a seven-year-old.

Good times.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Helllllooooo, Internet

I have perhaasp has too much to drink. By too much, I mean I lot,. By a lot? I mean 4 or maybe 5 glasses of wine. Dear Internet, I cannot hold my alcohol.

We went to Rosemary's Thyme at 18th and S in DC. You should go there. If you get there before 7:30, bottles of wine are half price. When I wass a sutdent, that meant I would order the cheapest bottle of wine and it would be even cheaper. Now? I order a more expensive bottle and it is more expensive than the cheapest but still cheaper than in real life.

I highly recommend the Liberty School Syrah. I also drank from a bottle of an Australian Shiraz. I'm not telling you anything more specific because I can't remember. Also: I fell over trying to lock the front door when I got home. Dear Internet, I cannot hold my alcholl.

The Husband is in his underwear. I have to go now. Goo night.

Memory: August 22, 2003

It was a hot Friday, and the last day of my summer internship. I left the office at noon, saying goodbye to my boss, and walked from Dupont Circle up to Georgetown to do some errands on campus. I stopped in at my graduate program office to refill my water bottle and check my email. I mentioned to the guy at the computer next to me that I was planning on going to the ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial for the unveiling of the engraving that marked where Martin Luther King, Jr., had stood when he gave his I Have A Dream speech at the March on Washington, and he said he would come with me. There was to be a larger event on the Mall over the weekend, marking the 40th anniversary of the march.

We walked across the Key Bridge to the Rosslyn metro station. There was something of a breeze as we crossed the Potomac, and I felt a little cooler than I had for most of the day. We went one stop to Foggy Bottom and then walked down 23rd to the Mall.

There were chairs set up at the Memorial, but not very many people were around. Josh and I tried to figure if we were allowed to sit anywhere we wanted. It seemed strange that we were allowed to sit so close. We had both finished the water we had brought with us, and Josh went to buy more. I sat in my folding chair, feeling sweat trickle down the backs of my legs, while I watched a little boy and his dad as they studied the cardboard copy of the marker. The man was white, but the little boy had darker skin. He was full of energy, and seemed not to notice the heat.

I remembered a story told by a professor I had worked for at Santa Cruz. I was a teaching assistant in his course on the Civil Rights movement, and he told us about a friend of his who had been at the March on Washington. It had been horribly hot that day and his friend had left early—before King spoke. I had wondered at the time I heard the story how anyone could have left such an important event. Now, sitting in the sun on an August afternoon in Washington, I completely understood. Finally Josh came back with two bottles of water for each of us, and I held one against my forehead for a minute. I wanted to lift my hair off the back of my neck, but I was embarrassed to raise my arms and show the stains that I was sure were there.

By the time the ceremony started, I had already finished one of the bottles. There were speeches, most of which I don’t remember. I know John Lewis spoke, and Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Then they played part of the speech. I sat on at the Lincoln Memorial, looking up at icons of the Civil Rights movement, listening to Martin Luther King’s words booming over the loudspeaker. I cried. I wasn’t the only one.

When the ceremony ended, everyone climbed the steps to see the plaque. I am glad I was with Josh. He was more assertive than I was. I started to hang back a bit, but he said “Come on,” and I followed.

We walked up to the plaque and I stared down at it for minute, somehow able to tune out the jostling around me.





AUGUST 28, 1963

And I looked down over the Mall, trying to imagine being there when it was as crowded as I had seen it in black-and-white film footage we’d watched in class at Santa Cruz.

Suddenly, I was shaking hands with John Lewis and listening to Josh speak to him, although I don’t remember what he said. I turned and there was Coretta Scott King. She saw me looking at her, smiled at me, and reached out to shake my hand. A moment later, a photographer—from the AP or the Post, I think, was asking people to move around a bit. He took some pictures of the VIPs, and then one of the little boy I had been watching earlier. I leaned around people, trying to take some snapshots of my own.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, ???, Martin Luther King III, Coretta Scott King, 8/22/03

Little boy at the Lincoln Memorial