DC and Other Ramblings
(This turned out to be longer than I anticipated. Sorry!)
I went to DC last weekend, but this is the first real opportunity I’ve had to sit down and get my thoughts out. We (Mom, Mark & I) left on Friday, around 3:30pm. This was a mistake. Traffic was awful, and Dad spent most of the time swearing. We got to the hotel at 11:30ish and collapsed into bed. It’s a nice hotel- the Residence Inn by Marriott in Bethesda. It was only a block from the metro, which was nice.
Saturday we went to the parade and matsuri (street fair). The parade was neat, though I was confused by a few of the balloons (Miss Piggy and Scooby-Doo. Really?) I have some pictures that Mom took on my camera- as soon as my battery is recharged I’ll dig through and find the good ones. :pink: After that we walked over to the matsuri. It was packed and there only seemed to be three kinds of booths: food, really cheap anime crap, and vintage kimono in various states of care. Well- I saw more haori than kimono, honestly. I got a peach haori that’s very pretty, and a red and white shibori nagoya obi with a sakura design. I wore kimono, too- my pink komon with the abstract/minimalist peacock design. I wore my black mofuku nagoya obi (I really need a dark obi that isn’t mofuku) and I got several complements and a few pictures. There was a variety of kimono-clad people at the matsuri; the only properly dressed people I saw were Japanese. There was one girl I’ve seen at Katsucon before (I actually met her when she was inquiring about collecting kimono and didn’t own any yet) and her kitsuke reminded me of my early kitsuke. Which… isn’t a compliment, but we all start somewhere. At some point I will look back on my current kitsuke and cringe. It takes practice.
After the matsuri we went back to the hotel and I changed- I had worn my wooden geta which was a mistake- and my long skirt got eaten by the escalator. I was not pleased. Half the bottom hem was covered in thick black greasy gunk. It took forever to clean off, and there’s still some stain that I can’t get rid of. We went to a restaurant that I’d been to in National Harbor- and finally ate. It was very good, and our waiter was from Chatham! He admonished me for not having been to the Cape in about a decade, which is something I dearly want to rectify. (Next summer, hopefully.) We walked past Ford’s Theater (it was the anniversary of Lincoln’s shooting) and Dad was put out that there wasn’t anyone there but us. We then walked down to the White House and Mom dragged us into the White House gift shop (which was surprisingly a first for all of us.) I got a pink cherry blossom festival baseball cap. After some ice cream from a different tourist trap, we hopped the metro back to the hotel.
Sunday. We checked out, walked to the metro (both Mom and I were wearing long skirts, so we were very mindful of all the escalators) and parted ways- Mom and I had tickets to the Alice in Wonderland ballet at the Kennedy Center and Dad went to Arlington to look at Kennedy’s grave and such. The ballet was my first, and I really enjoyed it. The costuming was interesting- some I really liked (the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, the Caterpillar) and some I really didn’t. (Alice’s looked like a Halloween costume I saw for sale at Hot Topic last year.) The story wasn’t completely in order, and it grabbed some pieces from the second book and changed the trial, but overall it was fun. The flamingo dance- part of the Caucus Race- was really neat, and in several parts they had little kids in fluffy costumes come out and dance, which was awesome. I think the flamingo dance, and the card dance (just before the croquet game) were my favorites, because they were large ensembles. The dances that consisted mostly of just one dancer- like the Dodo’s, and the Joker’s (I think he was meant to replace the Knave) were well executed (the same dancer played both, and he was immensely talented), but not as interesting. The Hatter’s makeup seemed to be trying to emulate Depp’s Hatter from Burton’s movie. I got swag- more than I should have, but Mom was both enthusiastic and insistent. Our seats were fairly nice, too. They were some of the last available- they were technically handicapped, so we had our own little “box” and actual individual seats that moved. No one’s heads in front of us, no one on either side… there were a couple times that the action took place in the back part of the stage on our side so that the angle obscured our view, but only twice that I can recall, and otherwise we had a great view. (9th row from the front.) Afterwards we met up with Dad, got back to the car, and started the drive home.
Which was about as unpleasant as the drive down. Long, lots of traffic. One stupid toll that required EZ Pass or exact change- in change- only. And Mom had been feeling sick the whole weekend and it finally got to her on the drive, too.
If I’m able to go next year, I’d like to go on a tour of the blossoms (when they’re actually still blooming), but the matsuri was pretty neat, I have to say.
Other stuff in my life right now. Hrm.
Well, on Thursday Mom and I began the Great Purging of the Attic. The attic has not been cleaned/sorted since we moved in, which was in 1992. Twenty years. We put stuff up since then, and holiday items have come up and down every year, but there were boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff that hadn’t been touched in a decade at the least. Plus there was stuff from Mom & Roy’s divorce that got set aside for me. My everything hurts. We got everything except the empty boxes (Mark’s mostly, I believe) and Xmas down on Thursday and Friday, and all but a few bins of clothing has been sorted through. There is a crapload of stuff. Luckily, a solid half- if not more- is going to the tag sale at the end of next month, and we probably threw out another quarter.
Orville’s upset stomach destroyed my “computer chair”, which is part of the reason I haven’t been at my computer much; I am currently sitting on a nightstand, because I have no other options at the moment. We have a few wooden chairs in the basement, but we have mold problems and I am not keen on bringing that into my living and breathing space. I may steal a chair from the kitchen table since we haven’t sat there in a decade at least.
I have also been under a wave of self-loathing with regard to my coursework. I have been trying and trying and the fact is that I am a terrible transcriptionist. I type slowly, I backspace a lot, I instinctively paraphrase. Struggling to make out dictation is giving me wicked headaches. I spend all day on a single dictation. But I don’t know what else to do, especially with all the money I’ve wasted on it. Finish and try to get a job? Call it for what it is and accept the financial loss, like I did three times with college? And if I do that… what then? My only skills are retail. I wouldn’t mind working at a porn shop again after I move; I’m not sure I want to do it full time, though. I keep getting the voice in the back of my head to craft and sell on Etsy, but I don’t know if I have the skill to make it a part-time job. It would have to wait until I move, no matter what, because I just don’t have the room here. And I desperately want to write, but right now picking up the pen just makes me feel so guilty. Why should I spend time doing something I enjoy when I’m broke, behind on bills, in a mountain of mess in my room that needs to be sorted and packed… It’s not depression. I’m just feeling overwhelmed and I don’t know where to start digging myself out.
The light at the end of the tunnel at the moment- dimmed though it may be by financial worries- is that I am moving. Sometime in June, though Dad and I haven’t sorted out specifics. He’s been stressed/busy with work, and I’ve been too… whatever it is that I am to want to bring it up.
In typical form, when I am overwhelmed with a list of important things to do, I have turned to the near-bottom of my priority list: I overhauled my mess of a religious calendar. Originally I had gone with all fixed dates on the Gregorian calendar, because I am a Bad Pagan (TM) who never knows what moon phase it is, and trying to finagle lunisolar calendars annoys me. However, having arbitrary fixed dates for a holiday based on where it tends to fall in a random decade annoys me more. So I now have two parts to my religious calendar- the fixed part, which thus far consists of 59 days (deity holidays, Beloved Dead remembrances and Revered Dead observances) and the moveable part, which at the moment consists of 21 days (cultural new year celebrations, deity holidays, Dead observances, Spirit observances, and Revered Dead observances). That does not include my two lists of possible holidays to add, fixed and moveable. It sounds like a lot- well, it is a lot- but none of them are arbitrary. I’m sticking with my “base” calendar for at least a full year, though, before anything gets added- I want to move from mindfulness and sporadic observance to mindfulness with prepared and planned observance for all of my extant dates before adding anything. As I keep reminding myself, there’s no rush. I’d rather take the time to do it right.
Now that that’s all out instead of rattling around in my brain, I think I’m going to try to get something cleaned/packed in this hellhole. I want to get something accomplished today besides watching the new Once Upon A Time episode (fucking finally! stupid hiatus).