Monday, October 20, 2008

Washington Fat Cats: Saturday

We awoke around 9:23 Saturday morning and were out the door around 10. Breakfast proved harder to find than anticipated, so we ended up walking to the Pavilion Café (or, as Jessie pronounced it, "pavalon") in the National Sculpture Garden, which proved to be an ample backdrop a traditional Washington breakfast: a Cuban sandwich.

Meanwhile, Jessie got a croissant. After the purchase -- and that's the key -- she asked the woman behind the counter whether there was any jelly. By the way this woman said "no," you would have thought that Jessie asked this woman if there was any placenta. Pressing her luck, Jessie asked whether there was any butter. Same result. This woman was incensed. How could anyone possibly think that there would be condiments to spread on the croissants that this restaurant sells? I shudder to think what would have happened if Jessie had asked for Nutella. Upon further questioning, the reason for a lack of available jelly or butter is because "people might steal them." Jessie asked what I thought was a reasonable question: "So then, do you have any behind the counter?" The woman didn't really know how to answer that. And so Jessie ate her croissant in silence, standing five feet from the woman behind the counter, staring at her -- or, more appropriately, through her. When we left, Jessie had one more thing to say to the woman: "If I ever come in here again, you had better pray to whatever voodoo god you worship that you are not behind that counter because I will be ordering a croissant, on which I will, in fact, spread a condiment. And that condiment will be your blood."

After being escorted out of the National Sculpture Garden, we headed down the Mall towards the Washington Monument, which looks nothing at all like George Washington. I conquered it from near and far.

A lot of people don't realize that just to the north of the Washington Monument, there is an authentic Apache reservation.
There were no tickets available, so we were unable to ride up the Washington Monument or walk up or bungee catapult up (I don't know because we didn't get in there). To get revenge, I forever captured the Capitol on digital media and held the White House between two fingers. I know -- very awesome.
I put it down, then we went to the WWII Memorial. Illinois was both on my shirt and on limestone. There was a group of WWII veterans from South Carolina, a man who appeared to be a War of 1812 vet, and an insolent sparrow named Gregory.

From there, it was to the Lincoln Memorial. As we walked along the Reflecting Pool, I gave birth to a duck, which promptly committed suicide.

After that, I just stood there and thought about a lot of shit, until some drugged-out hippie chick started running through the middle of the pool trying to get the attention of a mildly retarded soldier, who I believe is a former All-American kick returner.

Upon my arrival at the Lincoln Memorial, I conquered it, then immediately took a seat. I'm kind of weird.
The Lincoln Memorial is pretty cool because you get a nice view of the whole Mall.
Feeling inspired, I staged a sit-in to protest American support of the presence of Spain in Hispaniola. As you can see, several others followed. Not wanting to be worshipped as a false idol this early in my life, I promptly declared "art is dead," ended the sit-in, and approached President Lincoln with a combination of solemnity and fear I haven't felt since I found out the chocolate-covered Pay Day was discontinued. My fears were realized, as he continually stared at me with his steely eyes no matter what I said to him. Then he started hitting on Jessie. I had to get out of there.
On my way down the steps, I came across the marker that indicates the exact spot from which Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream Speech."
Sensing some discord amongst the Memorial's visitors, I took the opportunity to showcase my oratorical skills with my hilarious satirical take on Dr. King's speech, which I entitled, "I Have a Pene."
Much of the crowd was in tears -- mostly of sorrow -- by the time I ended 17 minutes later with "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, it is free at last!" My performance apparently caused a bit of a buzz, as current and former Caps stars Alexander Ovechkin and Mike Gartner arrived to offer me a job as public address announcer at the Verizon Center. I was flattered and accepted immediately, only to later learn that neither had the authority to offer me the position. Lawsuit pending.
From the Lincoln Memorial, we walked past the Korean War Memorial, where some of those giant silver mimes were creepin'.
Then it was onto the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. As you can imagine, it was fairly depressing. Every visitor gets a little booklet with information about a Holocaust victim. You learn where they were from, their ethnicity, about their family, where they were taken, and whether or not they survived. The museum itself is excellent, and I would highly recommend it.

From there, we headed across a manmade bridge to the Jefferson Monument. I like that dude. He didn't try to creep me out like Lincoln. We had an educated discourse on the two-dollar bill, his selection of Aaron Burr as his first Vice President (we both agreed that Burr was "kind of a dick" and had a good laugh at Burr's expense), his rousingly successful choice of P-Funk as his second Vice President, educated masses, dipping your pen in the company ink, Shays' Rebellion (really not that bad), inalienable rights ("banging" was one that he kept coming back to), alienable rights (for some reason, DNA testing popped up), aliens ("we're the fucking aliens, man"), and sedition. Whatevs. I conquered that shit.
Both Jessie and I agreed that we hadn't walked enough yet, so we made our way up to the White House. On the way there, we came across several ice cream carts. Hopefully this picture will, once and for all, settle the heated Bomb Pop vs. Astro Pop debate.
When we got to the south side of the White House, I didn't want to conquer it quite yet, so for some reason I pretended to look like I was getting held up.

We then made our way to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, where they had a Richard Avedon exhibit. Unfortunately, it was 4:30 and the museum closed at 5, so it was not worth the $6 price of admission. We smudged the glass doors on the way out and headed up the street to the Renwick Gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian family. It's a pretty small museum that looks like it could have been someone's house back in the day. Probably Renwick. It was a nice, quick, and easy museum. I did not conquer it.

From there, it was to the Old Executive Building, which is across the street from the Renwick. It is a completely awesome building that used to house the President. Frankly, it looks cooler than the White House. Making things better, there was a giant Italian flag adorning the OEB. I conquered it on several generational levels.
It turns out the Italian Prime Minister was in town. He was just walking around outside the OEB and White House. Tutti bravi!
We headed down the street to the north side of the White House.

Finally I felt comfortable with the idea of conquering the White House.Apparently they're raising douchebags younger these days.

Finally sick of walking, we decided to head for the Metro to go back to the hotel. On the way back, we stopped in front of the Treasury to conquer that … again! Take that Paulson! (And yes, those are five dollar bills in my hands.)

Here is our approximately 7 miles of walking.

After a nice bath, we headed up to the DuPont Circle neighborhood to meet up with my friend Josh from law school and his wife Lauren, who is also a friend from law school. We ate at a place called Darlington House, which may very well have been someone's house at some point. Probably Darlington. For an appetizer, I had some chestnut soup, which, surprisingly, isn't a sexual metaphor. It was delicious. For my entrée, I had some salmon with spaetzle, which was also delicious. Unsatisfied with our state of intoxication (or lack thereof), we went downstairs, which has a "cantina" and pub, which very much resembled a Chicago neighborhood bar (exposed brick, dark wood, lamps made from deer antlers, railroad spikes in the wall). More drinks were consumed. Several of Josh's peeps showed up. More drinks were consumed. Topics of conversation included emaciated males, the prevalence of fake deer heads on walls of bars in the Washington, DC area, bailouts, intimidation of nerdy co-workers, and how much better the NFC North and NFC East are than the remaining NFL divisions because of the length of the intradivision rivalries. Here's Josh and me looking far too giddy.

As the night wound to a close, Jester and I headed to the DuPont Circle Metro station, which was located several thousand leagues under ground level. Seriously, that's a hell of an escalator.

Upon exiting at Union Station, we saw a homeless ghost, which is a first for me.

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