So, what have I been doing in the last week? Living the life. I don't have any friends in this town, but people are nice. My roommates are nice. They don't start unintentional fires, which is something every previous roommate of mine has done. But even though I don't have actual friends here, I don't feel lonely. There's so much to do that I don't seem to mind, at least not yet. I'm here for my internship, which comes first. I'm working in the music division at the LoC, cataloging mostly undocumented opera scores from various periods and in various stages of disintegration. When I open a particularly old and browning one, I sneeze twice. I work in a cubicle, and fight with a Windows computer. I somewhat frequently use a trilingual card catalog; it seems my limited knowledge of French and German is sufficient for what I need to do! In case you're wondering, I also now know the difference between quid pro quo and hostile work environment sexual harassment, and I know to lock my computer when I walk away from my desk. On Friday, I spent lunch+ watching a video of a Burt Bacharach celebration concert. The music division likes music, curiously enough! On Thursday, I took a tour of the Jefferson building (the pretty one), and I learned that there will always be 20-year-old boys who laugh at the word "lesbian." I also learned that the people who designed the LoC were badass, and there is tons of awesome stuff I need to check out in that building.
I am also elegantly balancing being a tourist with doing native-DC things. I have gone to more museums than I can count, and I look at maps when I need to, but I always know where I'm going. I walk on the left side of the escalator, and I don't stand up on the metro until the car stops. I also bring a book. I have a few things worth sharing about my extracurricular activities, I suppose.
- The East building at the National Gallery of Art is where it's at if you're into modern art (personally, I'm not into visual art pre-Impressionism). There's some great stuff in the West building, but I drooled over far more in the East building.
- The zoo is fine, but nowhere near as dense or comprehensive as the Bronx Zoo, which I will always love and cherish unconditionally.
- Just because you can see the Washington monument doesn't mean it's close to where you are.
- Wear sunscreen. I have a peeling burn on my shoulders for the first time in probably close to a decade.
- I had expected Logan Circle and DuPont Circle to be fun and happening, but they were pretty dull. Hopefully that won't be the case next weekend for the pride parade! Adams Morgan is awesome, and I wish I was living on that side of town. Today, I walked from the zoo down to the art gallery, which was just under 8 miles. Factor in walking to & from the metro, and walking through the places I visited, and I probably walked 10 miles. Walking is great.
- I'm just not that into sound mass. I saw a concert that would have been great if the pieces were more diverse. I guess that's the trouble with having a program featuring a composer and his students. I walked out at the same time as another fed-up audience member who told me to check out the free concerts at the Kennedy Center. Sometimes, music people can be great and super helpful!
- I cannot get over how much one can do for free in this town. It almost makes up for the unreasonably high rent. If I go to a museum and I get tired or hungry, I don't have to feel like I need to get my money's worth. I can always go back!