Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, 2010

Well, here we are. Two thousand ten. Twenty ten? How to say it? And how to refer to the preceding years? The aughts? Is that too early-twentieth-century for the kids nowadays? I guess it remains to be seen.

We started the year off in Washington D.C., visiting friends and generally seeing our nation's capital. Despite the months that I spent driving around the United States when I was 19 (which now seems quite a long time ago because, ahem, it was), I have never been to D.C., which I attribute to a normal teenage rejection of patriotism and what not. As I recall, during that trip in 1998, we went from Baltimore, which is a mere hour or so north of the capital, straight west into West Virginia. It all works out in the end, though - visiting the actual Capitol building on the days surrounding New Year is ideal. Smaller crowds, less traffic, and generally less mayhem. At points, it felt that we were the only ones wandering through the cold to see the sights. A case in point: the Vietnam War Memorial.

Vietnam Memorial

I suspect that, had we visited in, say, July, there would have been throngs of people, and a picture as gray and serene as that would not have been possible. Likewise the Korean War Memorial:

Korean War Memorial

This one, unlike the Vietnam Memorial, had etchings of soldiers on it, rather than names, and the shadowy figures seen in the background are reflections of a smattering of soldier's statues. It's quite lovely, actually.

White House

We did basically all the proper tourist things to do - the White House, the Washington Monument, the Capitol, the Library of Congress, Georgetown - but we missed the museums. We can visit them next time, I guess, because though the drive from here to D.C. is quite irritating, it's not incredibly far. The interstate system around here is bizarre - so many turnpikes and parkways with their variously regulated toll systems that seem designed to frustrate both locals and out-of-towners alike.

And now - 2010. Any fantastic New Year's resolutions? I know, usually resolutions fall by the wayside in the first months of the year, but I'm resolving to get my life cleaned up; rid my cupboards and my diet of curious chemicals, etc. It'll take a little research, and a bit of adjustment to my routine, but I'm willing to take it on as a project, because it's the type of project that I can handle while in the grip of grad school. My general goal, I guess, is to make my life more *gulp* sustainable. My years in the Bay Area have made me leery of fuzzy hippie terminology, so I guess part of the goal is also to loosen up and embrace the concept, while not necessarily embracing the flakiness that I tend to associate with it. Wish me luck on that front - it might be the hardest part.

So, onward and upward. Happy New Year, folks. Make the most of it.