Tuesday, March 30, 2010

connor's 7th grade trip to DC

My cousin Connor lives in Tampa FL and his 7th grade class took their required field trip to Washington, DC. My Uncle Roger, played chaperon to the kids for the few days they were exploring VA and DC. They called me up and we arranged to meet up when they had a few free hours to explore on their own. I metroed after work to the Smithsonian stop and hung around the National Mall waiting for their bus to arrive. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom and I got to enjoy the magnolia's as well at the Smithsonian Castle garden. The day was chilly and windy, but the sun made it a little warm and tolerable.

My uncle had a few kids in tow along with him and Connor and they decided to check out the Air and Space Museum. There were thousands of people wandering around the National Mall and inside the museum. Everything was a fight, to push and shove in order to play/read exhibits. There were a few new exhibits since I had been last, which was neat to see and explore. They had a section about flight attendants from the 1960s and 70s and the requirements to be one of these beautys in the sky. The kids wanted to play on the flight simulators, so I hung out and played on Connor's DS while I waited. Those things make me so sick to my stomach! Connor bought some freeze dried ice cream, which is still just as gross as I remember, and some dog tags. He got "Connor Jaynes Playstation Master" on his tags, which is super lame and I made fun of him for getting it.

I left around 4:30pm because I had to metro home to have dinner and get ready for class. It was fun to see my cousin and uncle and play around in the museum :) I didn't have to pay a thing to visit with my family - I think they should come to visit me more often!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

relaxing night

Sometimes it gets lonely sitting alone for hours on end doing homework. I always love it when Jonna asks me over to do homework and have dinner. This night, she made my favorite dish!! Spinach pasta with curry,tomtoes, apples and chicken. All the flavors together are just so delicious, and the apples crunch adds a little zing!

That same night some of my Grad friends were getting together for happy hour at Rockbottom. I got out of my internship late and vouched for doing homework at home instead of trying to rush over, when Jonna called me and invited me over. Stephanie was hoping to meet up with people late, but when she arrived no one was there! We're not sure if they left early or what, but instead we invited Stephanie over to Jonna's and the 3 of us enjoyed dinner and great company, while I managed to also get some homework done. Relaxing Friday nights are pretty awesome after a long work/school week :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

portrait gallery

I've never been to the National Portrait Gallery in China Town, but I have walked past it many times. Stephanie has been interning at the gallery and invited me to come visit when she was done with work to give me a tour! Also, I hadn't seen her since the end of fall semester, which is a stupid long time, and we needed to hang out!

I met up with her around 3:30pm, stuffed my coat into a locker and we were on our way. She gave me the full and complete tour! It was a lot of fun seeing portraits of people from our history, and actually knowing who they were and why having their portrait hanging in this museum was notable. She told me stories about some of the people, and we talked about the project she's working on. We made fun of the modern exhibits, because we don't appreciate them and their ridiculousness, and I saw all the portraits of our American Presidents. She was very excited to show me a specific portrait of Charles Peale. Anyone who had museum studies with us last semester knows - that I hate him. So she was entertained to share that with me :) And even though I hate him, I did appreciate the sentiment heh.

After we were finished with my private tour, we went to Vapiano (vampire) for dinner. We chat, chat, chatted for a few hours before I had to get back to homework and she was ready to head home and do nothing! (Having the schedules we have, doing nothing is the best anyone could ask for!) I'm working on bugging Stephanie more. It's less convienient now that we don't have any classes together, and she thinks she's so smart graduating this spring. BUT I'm hoping she gets a job in the DC area so she can stay local and move closer to the city!

Friday, March 5, 2010

cuppycakes with varun

While I was in Morocco, Varun found a new cupcake bakery. He knew that he didn't want to go alone, and patiently waited for me to come back from my trip to take me along! We decided to also have dinner, which was Chipotle, which sometimes is exactly what you want. I drove to his apartment and then we headed out to Fairfax. It was quite the journey for cupcakes from Arlington.

The bakery is called Cupcakes Actually. I honestly think it's an odd name choice, but there it is. Varun bought many cupcakes to share with April and Mikaela after I went back home, and I bought 2. I bought red velvet and chocolate dipped in chocolate. Varun and I split the red velvet and it was OK. I think since was just before closing it was just good, and not amazing. I saved my other cupcake for the next day, but Varun shared his flourless chocolate cupcake with me. And let me tell you, that cupcake was amaaaazing. It melted in my mouth! I didn't know it was possible for cupcakes to do that! We decided we will have to make a trip out to Fairfax again to try more flavors, as they were apparently worth the drive.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

internship processing

I officially started my internship, and jumped right into it!

I'm learning the steps to processing a collection and started by creating a list of the items I found in each of the 10 boxes. The boxes range in size, and contain a wide range of materials. My favorite part of this collection are the correspondences. There are numerous letters that were written during World War II, and it's just amazing to read and hold these letters. Most of them were written in 1942-1945 and are in pretty good condition. Some of the letters are caked in dirt, and knowing that they were a part of the war is amazing to me. I haven't tried reading those yet, since they are dirty. I have to figure out how to salvage them from the dried mud. The oldest item I found was an accounting book from 1783. It was crumbling and falling apart, but I managed to get through some of the book and read its contents. There were also a series of diaries written by Thomas Riggs ranging from 1903-1913. He wrote normal every day facts like, I have the chicken pox and mom has quarantined me to my room. Read such and such book today. Saw these people, and went to town, etc. It's fascinating how something as simple as a diary can be so valuable and interesting.

The next steps involve creating a processing plan, and then figuring out how to store and preserve all these items. Wish me luck! I'm having a blast :)

The neat thing about being an unpaid intern, is that I can read anything and take my time. I can lose myself in the letters and photos and enjoy every moment processing the Riggs Family papers.