15 May 2009

DC Wrap-Up

Things quieted down while my seminar was in progress, but picked right back up afterwards.

My sightseeing covered some major DC-area sights that I had missed in my previous visits. They included Arlington National Cemetery, where I was able to revisit the various wars that the US had to fight, as well as Jefferson Memorial. I also re-visited the Korean War and Lincoln Memorials, the former as a recap of/follow-up to my visit to the United Nations Cemetery in Busan last year.

The major sight out of town I covered was Mt. Vernon, the estate of George Washington. It wasn't as grand a sight as I thought, but on-site museum exhibits on the life of George Washington, and how his decisions have become precedents for all US Presidents to follow, were very informative, to say the least.

Walking around all the historical sights of Washington, DC area is always a good reminder of the lofty ideals that the United States of America was founded on. Sure, the US often doesn't do a good job of actually upholding them, but as I have pointed out too many times elsewhere, those ideals will live on long after the US itself is just a historical footnote.

I did some karaoke at Freddie's in northern Virginia for two nights, and did okay. First night, after a rendition of Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl," I ended up losing my voice and not doing well at all with the high notes. But the second night (my final hangout with Alexandra Beninda, my local friend) went much better. I look forward to more karaoke opportunities regardless of where I go - though I will not be able to just walk into a heterosexual bar and pull it off.

I also want to thank my longtime contacts, Karen Bradley and Richard Bell, for two nice dinner talks. Karen, who was extremely worn out from all the finals grading at University of Maryland, also reported that she is now Facebook friends with Gayle Brandeis. My two favorite CODEPINKers are friends, at last!

I will miss DC - in a few hours I'll need to start my journey back to Los Angeles. But I will be going home happy, and in less than a week, I'll be back in the air, heading for Toronto. That should be a great trip.

Photos will be uploaded whenever I can manage.