Wash D.C.: Friends, Big Beers, and Drag Queens

Trip Start Nov 01, 2007
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Trip End Mar 01, 2008


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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Friday, November 9, 2007

I took notes on what I did in DC so that I could make the appropriate updates to my blog when I had some free time.  So needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, given how long it´s taken me to post.  Eli and Lyndsay´s apartment is across the street from Whole Foods, which was both great and terrible...let´s just say that I ate there a lot.  My first full day, I did some wandering.  Trekked from DuPont Circle to the Library of Congress via the National Archives, the Capital, the Supreme Court, and the National Botannical Gardens.  It was pretty cold out (48), so I relished the inside time.  Particularly cool, the botannical gardens were awesome.  Huge and chill, with the sensation of fresh oxygen, moisture, and the scents of countless plants permeating throughout.  I enjoyed seeing what quinine actually looks like, watching as beads of moisture collected and dropped of orchids of every shape, and smelling the spicy tinge from the ornamental pepper plants.  I actually fell asleep in the "jungle room"...it was so warm, quiet, and empty.

After two brief "now I´ve seen it" stops to the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court, I headed back to DuPont where I hung out in this great bookstore reading until I decided to treat myself to see American Gangster.  Excellent film, but the DuPont theatres have screens that are probably smaller than those in a lot of houses.  Half way through, this homeless guy (at least he smelled that way) all bundled up and in a pointy hat wandered slowly down the aisle with his arms outstretched.  It was strangely like a scene from some horror film with a crazy psychopath who takes over a theatre. 

When I got back and Eli got home from his class, we decided to check out the weekly drag queen bingo game.  I was apprehensive at first, but let me tell you, it was HILARIOUS.  Three crazy, kind-of-old drag queens insulting each other and the crowd with politically, sexually, racially, and just generally inappropriate comments.  At one point, the complimented this rail-thin girl that "all that throwing up was really working out well" for her.  Some of the other stuff is too inappropriate to relate here, but if you´re interested, I´d be happy to reveal the other stories, including how they selected the Bingo pattern for the next game or about my scary run in with the giant drag queen.

Next day was a dedicated quest to find and purchase a wool hat.  My criteria were that it had to be 100% natural fibers, warm, dark, and something that wouldn´t make it look like I had a nipple on my head.  After trekking through Georgetown (every store) and DuPont, I called Allison and she pointed me towards Filene´s Basement, carrzing department store rejects...a blessing and a curse...A pair of jeans and a Coach cashmere hat later, I had fulfilled my quest.

That evening after two great Mojitos (seriously, the first one was the best I´ve ever had...not that I´ve had that many...), we decided that we all felt like eating meat.  We ate a plate of meatloaf, flank steak, and blue cheese-filled filet mignon, and shared a bottle of wine while distilling life into 7 key aspects, prioritizing them for our own lives.  The evening ended with a debate about the usefullness of religion...clearly the bottle of wine played a role.

Thursday was a State Department day, and I had lunch with Beth (my mentor/boss) and Brian (my fellow intern) after running up to the office and waving quickly to Bob, who was heading to Lybia for a long while.  Some things never change...except for every other employee in the office.  Apparently, morale is low, particularly for foreign service officers who are required to rotate through a non-Green Zone post in Iraq.  It was a great time, and as it always was before, Beth had countless hilarious stories.

Happy hour was spent with Brian and his new EPA cohorts.  This bar had 32 oz. of beer for $8.  Seriously, 32 oz...that´s a full Nalgene.  I had one and was lucky I finished...the others tackled two...

My last day in DC was a frantic mix of packing, Whole Foods, sushi, and a crammed bus trip to Dulles.  What I do to save $6...taking the public bus.  The plane was delayed (bathroom malfunction...gross), but we got vouchers and I watched the replay of the 2003 Cal-USC game at a bar (it took this guy from Dubai telling me it was a replay before I realized).  Flight was fine...I had a whole row, but this lady took the other seat because it was better than her middle seat...too bad.  Had a good conversation with the Marine Guard for the US Embassy in Vienna...cool guy.  Whew, that´s it...apologies for the long post.

Pictures coming when I have a computer with a USB port...
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