a sapling-like milkweed in late December in Washington
Friday, December 17 2021
location: upper floor, Apartment [REDACTED], East Watergate Building, Washington, DCI was struck by how warm it was in Washington when we arrived last night, and that warmth continued today. It was the kind of weather where one could walk around outside in a tee-shirt and be reasonably comfortable. Gretchen's father pointed out a milkweek growing from one of the planters on the city-facing balcony; it was the size of a small sapling. It seemed doubtful it had experienced a freezing temperatures yet, so I asked if there had been a frost, and he said that there hadn't been.
I'd taken the day off of work, but my boss Alex was freaking out about a tax import and would end up working me harder today than I'd worked all week. This morning during breakfast, I started running an import on my work-issued laptop. Such imports take a long time, and I decided to leave it cranking away while walking with Gretchen and her fathe to the nearby Renwick Gallery. It's very close to the White House, and we stood for awhile on Pennsylvania Avenue where it passes the White House and watched the guards and pedestrians in an area that had been cordoned off and inaccessible when we'd been here a year ago just before the election during the disgraced Trump administration. Despite the beautiful day, which was now also sunny, there were surprisingly few people out, something Gretchen's father attributed to the new omicron variant of the coronavirus.
On the first floor of the Renwick there was a temporary exhibit of glass art. Some of it was messy and looked like the results of glass-blowing disasters, though there were also beautiful pieces such as a series of graduated cylinders that looked like gorgeous hybrids of graph paper and glass. There were also organic forms that looked as if they'd been made out of other materials but were instead made from sand-blasted glass. We also went upstairs and looked at the permanent exhibition, which Gretchen tells me I have seen before.
Next Gretchen would be meeting up with her childhood friend Andrea for Ethiopian food, and initially I thought I might join them. But it was now well into the afternoon and I needed to check my tax import and also attend one or two video meetings, so Gretchen's father and I walked back to the Watergate, leaving Gretchen to hike up to Dupont Circle by herself.
The upshot of the two meetings this afternoon was that it looks like my job is actually safe, at least for the time being. We were even told in the second mEeeting that the private equity conglomerate we work for isn't like all the other private equity conglomerates that try to squeeze every last cent out of acquired companies. In one gimicky series of presentation cards, the sum of the years of employment (for the respective absorbed companies) in our "vertical" was tallied and displayed, showing a value of over five hundred years (to which I'd contributed about a half of one percent). This left me feeling a bit more secure about my financial stability, which was great, as our household has really come to depend on the largesse of my contribution.
When Gretchen returned from her socializing, she reported that the Ethiopian food had been terrible. Despite that, she'd eaten enough of it to spoil her appetite. Her father had prepared a big meat loaf complete with a bread crust. Truth be told, I wasn't particularly excited to eat meatloaf either, particularly after it was slathered for some reason with ketchup. But it was actually pretty good when combined with a side-dish of "hash" (basically oven-baked potatoes, kale, and black beans).
A beautiful graduated cylinder at the Renwick.
Organs rendered in glass at the Renwick. Gretchen's father is in the background.
An arm attached to a chain carved out of a single block of wood in the Renwick's permanent collection.
If you don't like an array of little holes, this art may not be for you. In the Renwick's permanent collection.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next