Tuesday, August 05, 2008

D.C. and She Says

I am almost at a loss as to where to start. Even the pruned list of pictures from the actual visit to DC is daunting. And there are things missing. Like a picture of the six 12-packs of Fat Tire in the back of my car, particularly after the cardboard started to rot when Pooteewheet got the cases wet. That really deserves a scratch and sniff, with the funk of cheese its and three days of sweat thrown in for good measure. The good news is Fat Tire comes to DC next year according to the liquor store owner I talked to (a wonderful man who gave me the bottle opener off his key chain, literally), and no one will have to ever haul it cross country again. Except truckers. And there's a separation of driving space and rotting cardboard cases in that situation, unless Fat Tire intends to move beer around the country in a fleet of Ford Focii. There's no picture of me dressed as Burt Reynolds and Pooteewheet dressed as Sally Field, aka Frog. I think we could have pulled off a good camera trick to that end had we gone to Tussuad's.

Instead, I bring you...A GRATE! That's really for Kyle. To remind him of the night he, Ben and myself were locked out of car and slept on the steps of the Capitol, in the Jefferson Monument, and on one of these grates without a permit. That's right, although semi-homeless, we flaunted national law and slept on the warm grate without a permit. I'm not sure if they still won't deliver pizza there, but I didn't see any trucks in evidence.

The next two are my favorites. Eryn on our second day, checking out the Washington Monument. Our first day in DC, it was hot and humid and overcast. Our second day, it was beautiful. Absolutely spectacular with fluffy clouds floating behind everything.

Eryn sitting with her toes in the water at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, where the fountains increase in strength until there's a little tornado of water in the center, and then back off again, only to repeat. The cafe next to the garden will let you bring your beer, or a chilled glass of wine down to the marble seats, so you can hang out with a beverage. You can't see me, but I'm doing exactly that. Serenity.

As the first day was so hot and humid, we spent a lot of time indoors, checking out the enticements of the Smithsonian, the Air and Space Museum and National History Museum. Do you know what this is? Hmmm?

It's a space toilet! Here's the other one. The trick is now whether you can guess which one is for space boys and which one is for space girls? I know! It's confusing. The both have places that look appropriate for Mr. Pickle. Where the heck are you supposed to put your neeners? (that's Eryn's new word for girly bits, most appropriately used when someone like Kyle complains about something, at which point you can say "I never realized Kyle has neeners.")

Run Forrest! Run! Eryn enacting a mash up of famous Forrest Gump scenes. You can't see it in the picture, but she's screaming "Life is like a box of chocolates" at the top of her lungs, which is why the pigeons are staying so far away. Very 2.0 of her - I didn't even know she knew what mashup meant.

Eryn flying at the Air and Space. This photo in no way captures the incredible tiredness and associated crabbiness that was building up in the hot, hungry, five year old. So turn your head until your ear is touching your left shoulder (either ear) and it looks like she's crash diving in the middle of the hands on area of the museum. That's more appropriate of the spirit.

You may touch and squeeze any part of the space suit, but do NOT touch the golden helmet. Touching the golden helmet makes you go blind. And makes the space man who's been in it since 1968 very mad. Squeeze the suit crotch all you want. He enjoys that.

Eryn loved the Natural History Museum, especially after watching Night in the Museum. I appreciated that Ben Stiller was no where to be found. I explained it wasn't the same museum, despite the T Rex and Easter Island Statue, but she still thought it might be, which implied Ben Stiller could be lurking about, even if I couldn't see him. So I told her if she said it one more time, it would come true while I held her hand in the T Rex's mouth. She shrugged it off and noted that there was a skeleton of a giraffe and wanted to know if they had killed it. I replied "No, but they probably ate it." Which wasn't the correct response given her expression, so I actually had to correct myself and be a good Dad, noting that it had probably been dead when they found it.

Eryn with her dinosaur souvenirs. The economics of dinosaur acquisition are as follows. One $60 dinosaur that doesn't fit in the car. Best. But Dad is disapproving. One $30 dinosaur of midling size, a pouty second. One little $10 dinosaur. Pretty disappointing. Dad's happiest. But TWO little $10 dinosaurs so that they can be friends, that's the neeners. What? Inappropriate use? Fine...it's the cat's meow. That's more disgusting if you think about it long enough. Anyway, everyone was happy. And later, when they put on diapers and picked up a cannon from Gettysburg, it was a serious party in the back seat. I'm not making that s*it up.

And now, a brief game of "What's that in my hand?" Nope. Not a bug she found a flower in the gardens behind the Smithsonian. You might think it is, but it's snot. Oh...ho...ho... ah. That's the stuff.

Eryn rests under a tree dedicated to Hilary Clinton. Proves that Bill's not the only one with wood. Primarily for my father in law who probably has many plants in his garden devoted to Hilary. This was the second day when Pooteewheet had left us to check out the National Holocaust Museum, where she suspects the guy in the big, wall-sized picture in a tank is her grandfather. Eryn and I spent the time wandering to a few of the other memorials and checking out the Muppets exhibit (not so exciting) and the Freer's Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Muslim and etc. art exhibits, which were beautiful. I'm partial to John Singer Sargent's Breakfast in the Loggia and Hokusai's Thunder God.

Pooteewheet couldn't take pictures in the Holocaust Museum. So this is as much of it as Eryn and I ever get to see. Except we can see a lot of it online. They have a great photo archive.

Right here I considered putting in a lot of pictures of statutes. Nurses statue. Korean War Memorial. Eviscerated ball. Vietnam Vets. African American Civil War. US Navy Memorial. Big Spider like in London. But I trust you to go look at those yourself if you like. Instead, let this serve as a summation of the many many statues I'm choosing not to show.

Or this one, which I'm touching inappropriately in front of the Federal Trade Commission to protest, that thing, you know, that they're doing, which I shouldn't like. Oh *%%$#. I bet I meant to protest censorship in front of the FCC.

Or this one, which is a nice picture of Eryn and I next to a statue of one of those guys who spray paints themselves and stands still for money in New Orleans or along the Thames in London.

Eryn thinks he's a bit too bright. Or that he might charge her $20 for being able to spell "her name" backwards.

What's this! A wish for Kyle (big) that he find a (hot) girlfriend in Minnesota!

And it's on Yoko Ono's wish tree. That's mighty powerful mojo. Before you decide I wrecked the sacred wish tree, I was vastly out numbered by tags with MySpace addresses on them, and Eryn wished for a trampoline. At least I was being altruistic and giving my wish to a friend. Kyle, if the powers of Yoko Ono are enough to rip apart The Beatles, then they're powerful enough to bring you true love or at least meaningless Mr. Pickle on neeners action.

Pooteewheet and Eryn at the sculpture garden pool and fountain.

Eryn and I admiring the statue to Flocklee, the World War II messenger duck who bravely sacrificed himself by flying into the engines of Dr. Fritz Todt's Junkers 52 in Rastenberg, Germany, killing both Flocklee and Todt, inventor of the autobahn and minister of armaments and munitions, before the German could go on to create other transportation improvements for the Reich. It's generally acknowledged that had he lived, Todt might have invented a more fuel efficient tank and a better road surface to drive it on, avoiding the entire Battle of the Bulge problem and turning the tide of the war. Flocklee is an unsung hero who's sizable monument bears a simple inscription, Todt's last words, "Fuck, a duck."

Stars at the World War II Memorial.

We interrupt this post for a brief intermission and snack break.

Bear with me - we're close to the end. While Pooteewheet was at the Holocaust Memorial, Eryn and I went over to Lincoln Memorial. She claims seeing the giant Lincoln was her favorite part of the trip, although my Planet of the Apes references were completely lost on her. For now. I was happy to go as well, but because it dovetailed in nicely with Antietam, some Civil War memorials in D.C., and then Gettysburg later. I picked up a copy of Confederates in the Attic in Gettysburg, so I sort of got to feel like I'd lived a little bit of the book.

Eryn hanging out in front of the big man himself.

Eryn at the U.S. Navy Memorial, hiding in the duffel. This is where we met She Says before dinner. I won't post any pictures of her because I have a few rules about who I post pictures of without asking. But she and her husband-to-be took us out to eat at Ben's Chili Bowl (wiki), an establishment that made it through the riots, is a favorite of Bill Cosby and Chris Tucker, and serves a delicious chili cheese dog with cheese fries. It was a fantastic choice given we were dressed down and towing a five year old around. Eryn liked that she could write on the walls in the bathroom, just like you could on the walls in the duplex where we used to live, where she never lived, but where she was conceived (search on "table meme"). It was wonderful to meet She Says and SM - I was just wishing we had time for a beer and a board game. Any time you're in town, the red room is yours (it's like a free hotel), and there's no avoiding the board games in there.

The whole family in front of Ben's.


She says said...

Wow. I am amazed at how much of DC you saw! You really covered some serious ground. It looks like you had a good time. Yay!

It was great meeting you guys. Thanks again for schlepping the beer for us. Truly. If you ever come near DC again, do let us know. And this time, we'll make time for beer and board games.

MeanMrMustard said...

I'm not sure whether I'm flattered or insulted that you post pictures of me emerging from porta-potties, without asking permission first.

I enjoyed your story about Flocklee most of all. Someone should do a memorial to your Flocklee memorial.

LissyJo said...

Speaking of not asking about posting pictures of others on your blog.... That sailor statue is the same one i had my picture with. That you posted on your blog. Of me as a child in a 'rean-fro (permed korean hair?). That cookie queen dispensed at my work. Uh huh. That's the one.

I didn't know you were going to chilidogs with she says. No fair.

Scooter said...

You two don't understand my criteria. But believe me, they are very sound.