austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

On the other side of you the grass is greener

After I'd composed myself I thought I should perhaps head back now, although I started walking along the reflecting pool and found that I was walking nearer the Lincoln Memorial, which before I'd quite decided to I had made my ultimate objective for the night. Well, for the late evening; the sun was trying very hard to set, and the squirrels were coming out in striking abundance, to the point that I wasn't the only person taking pictures of them being so very personable and crepuscular. One made a couple scream in shock when it popped out of the trash bin.

At the Lincoln Memorial I realized that I'd seen the statue of Lincoln sitting so abundantly often that it didn't much register as artwork, at least until I found a less-often-displayed angle, peeking around from the far end of the base where you can see the gap between his chair and the wall. There's also outside the front steps these kinds of cement bowls on pillars which looked faintly like what Romans might have used to light fires for a triumph. I'm sure there's a proper architectural term, but I don't know it, and I'd just never seen it when looking at the Memorial, I suppose since Lincoln really commands all the attention there.

I knew that the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural were carved on the walls, I'm fairly sure, as well. What I didn't know was that the ceilings were sort of transparent. I'm not sure how to describe it, really; they look like marble tiling, but they're also brightly lit against the dark ceiling. I imagine it's a kind of stained glass, but I don't really know, and couldn't find anyone to ask, somehow. I did overhear people wondering what a side door was for, with hypotheses about whether it might lead to the bathrooms, and naturally I looked into that. Turned out to be an elevator; perhaps there's bathrooms available following that path, though.

Now it was getting reasonably late, dark enough I couldn't get photographs of things far off in my tripod-less state, so I walked back to the Metro station with only a few diversions. At the Smithsonian metro station I noticed a banner hanging which advertised bunny_hugger's university, to my delight, since I love serendipitous discoveries like that.

Back to the far end of that Metro line --- somehow I always seem to stay near the outermost reaches of the Metro --- I had a walk back from the station to the hotel. The roughly mile-long walk seemed like it'd be good exercise when I started out, although now, after all the walking around the Mall, I came to realize that perhaps I didn't need to pad my walking-about time. I'd have to consider parking at the station or maybe using the hotel shuttle Saturday.

I got back to shower hard, shake National Mall pebble dust out of my shoes, and find that the hotel Internet was still not working. I tried calling tech support again, and they promised to call back in 15 minutes. When they didn't, I called back, and they said they'd call back in another ten or fifteen minutes. When they didn't, I called back again, and they said they were very interested in working on it. I decided I was more interested in sleeping. So I set the alarm for about 9:30, which I estimated would give me time to get up, shower, send e-mails perhaps, and eat breakfast before check-out time. This was a good theory.

Trivia: Britain's first two rubber plantations were established in Selangor, in western Malaya. Source: Napoleon's Buttons: 17 Molecules That Changed History, Penny Le Couteur, Jay Burreson.

Currently Reading: Wireless, Charles Stross.


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