I come home with way too many books, more than I'll be able to read before April 10. They range from utter tripe to a couple books on home decorating (more on that in a minute) and my attempts to start reading fiction again.
It's going to take all my self-control to sit at the table and eat the spaghetti and meatballs that the Fool is making without being antisocial and cracking open something to read.
DC was wonderful. It was a perfect weekend for getting away from all my problems here at home of late. While the mental break was great, I also like the physicality of removing myself from the site of all my troubles.
So: What did I do? I went to hear Uncle Earl and the Biscuit Burners at the Birchmere, and they were terrific. Maura, the friend I went to visit, brought me a birthday cake, which she sliced up at the table we were sharing with the Crazies Lanea and various other friends. C.L. and I did not get our geek on about knitting, as we were with many muggles ... but just wait until Maryland Sheep and Wool. We'll be unstoppable.
Maura and I spent St. Pat's itself hiding from the crowds, cooking fresh fancy ravioli we bought at the Eastern Market (we couldn't decide, so we got some filled with squash with goat cheese, some filled with porcini mushrooms and some filled with spinach, maybe? And steamed asparagus on the side.)
Then she worked on a new quilt project we had gone shopping for, and I knitted a sock.
We went to the National Museum of the American Indian, but stopped first to look at art.
I love this museum. First off, I learned a lot of things I didn't know, which endeared it to me right away. Secondly, for the various exhibits about each of the tribes represented, the museum asked members of the tribal community to decide what should go in the exhibit. They had pictures up of all these "community curators" with little biographies, and I had the best time reading them - one tribe picked spiritual leaders, another picked people who were also involved in local politics, some picked elders, some picked younger people - totally fascinating. The museum is beautiful, too, and it has the most fascinating cafeteria, if you're into eating interesting things, which we are. Each serving area had examples of indigenous foods from different regions of the Americas.
(Because you're going to ask, we split: one chicken tamale with peanut sauce, two roasted pork tacos with guacamole and green salsa, a serving of wild rice salad with dried fruit and a helping of roasted summer squash. They were out of the fiddlehead fern salad and the banana empanadas with vanilla sauce - dammit.)
Here's a couple interesting photos of things from the museum.
Then we had dinner with the Crazies Lanea and Maura's roommate, at Meskerem, an Ethiopian restaurant down the street from Maura and Kim's place. Maura and I love Ethiopian food with a mad, unnatural passion. We like the ritual of sharing food from a communal plate, we like the delicious things Ethiopian cooks do to vegetables ... and we really, really adore spicy red lentils.
We did some shopping too - I got some presents at the International Spy Museum, and we went to Georgetown to visit Dean and Deluca (the Fool got a bottle of his favorite expensive olive oil and I got my friend Carrie some fancy Russian tea.) And we went to the Body Shop and got some girly shower stuff.
On Monday, we went to the National Zoo, ostensibly to see the pandas .....
But really, to see the Asian otters, who travel in a herd and stand up on their hind feet to scare birds out of their enclosure. Don't they look fierce?
And now, I am home and back to planning for The Big Move. The Fool and I are going to move into my father's old house, which you will be hearing more about. I'm dealing with a lot of conflicting feelings about moving into the house I essentially grew up in, and we are both freaking out a lot about moving and painting and getting rid of a lot of Dad's crap - and I do mean crap.
I think I'll make it a blog contest. I'll post photos of stuff from his garage, and whomever guesses what it is -- I'll give it to you.
Heh. Don't all comment at once.