Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Facebook, DC, and Outwitting Security

So the other day Matt got after me for not signing up for Facebook yet. "One of these times I will," I said. [BTW I reached the Yes decision based on my friend EG's email that assured me I can opt out of all the throwing-sheep foolishness and on my friend Kay's reasoning that going on Facebook is a great way to keep {loving, concerned} track of your big kids and their friends, which is why I first went on Xanga.]
Then Emily, who was on the computer, said, "Hey, Mom, why don't you go on Facebook as soon as you get 300,000 hits on Life in the Shoe?"
"Ok," I said, much like Jephthah must have said when someone suggested he sacrifice whatever comes out to meet him when he comes home.
So we came back from our wild two days in DC and I checked my blog, and to my surprise it was at 300,298 hits.
Ok. Facebook coming soon, like when I'm on my own computer again.

How to summarize two wild days in the nation's capital? First of all, who would have thought that everyone else within a 200-mile radius also had the bright idea to put the family and in-laws in the van and go see the Museum of American History? Everything was crowded, busy, full, loud, and full of people people people.
Of course the monuments were accessible and moving. The Korean War Memorial, with all those wet, battle-weary men stumbling uphill, guys the age of Matt and my nephew Jason. And the new WWII memorial, which is simple yet profound and very beautiful, and it's too bad it didn't get built until so many years after the war.
You know, you don't realize from pictures in high school textbooks how huge these places are. Like the Jefferson Memorial always looked like an oversized gazebo in someone's backyard and in reality it is enormous, with tall columns and lots of marble steps and rounded stone platform things out the back where you can sit and soak up some sun on a very cold day.
Unlike the open-air monuments, the museums were unbelievably full. We gave up on the Museum of American History, when the line snaked down the long flights of steps and far down the sidewalk, and they were letting in only a handful of people, every 20 minutes.
We tried the National Archives and the story was similar. However, we did see the wonderful displays at the Conservatory and also the Air and Space Museum and a few others.
And we toured the Capitol, a very very different proposition from ten years ago when we wandered all around the tunnelly things on the outside and saw Newt Gingrich get whisked into his black Suburban and then we went up the steps and the security guy chuckled at Matt's big pocketknife and handed it to Aunt Rosie for safe keeping and we were free to wander at will.
No no. No more. Way out on the back lawn of the Capitol we descended some steps and waited in line while a uniformed guy told us to put all water bottles in the garbage, all food, all lotion, all perfume, all drinks, all sprays of any kind.
Well. I had in my purse a dainty little tub of a new hand lotion that my fine neighbor Anita had given me for Christmas. I was not about to consign it to the garbage. So I rested a while on the little stone curb thing by the flower beds along the stairway. Hmmm hmmm, la di da.....and I reached back and gently dug out some dirt near the edge, quickly inserted my lotion and hand sanitizer, covered them with dirt and leaves, noted the spot, and casually took my place in line.
Surely security was watching all these things, surely the city was alive with a thousand spies before the inauguration. Would I be found out, or not?
We took the tour, a very tightly-controlled experience compared to ten years ago, but still interesting. The capitol is an amazing building and that is the truth.
Then we went back outside and I rushed to my flower bed. . . hmmm, right there I think....Yes! there they were, safe and sound.
Maybe the FBI had more important things to check up on, with the inauguration and all.

Oh, we also saw the Lincoln Memorial and decided he doesn't really look like he's smiling on one side and frowning on the other. And of course one of my sons, that one that crashes into church beams, had to sit on the banister and go sliding way way down, in sight of three security guards and a sign that said, "Do not slide on banisters." We pointed it out to him. "Oops," he said.

Quote of the Day:
Jason: Ask me if I'm a red truck.
Emily: Are you a red truck?
Jason: No.
--Jason's idea of a good joke. Emily and Steven and Jenny thought this was really funny


  1. Seriously Mom, you laughed harder than all three of us put together at that red truck joke

  2. Way to go, Emily. Keep her honest!

    My barefoot son kept stepping on my bare feet the other day and finally, exasperated, I said to him, "Can't you feel your feet?" he said to me, without missing a beat and matter of factly, "I can feel my feet, Mom. I just can't feel yours." to which his daddy and I snickered as he walked away. He said it as a fact. We saw the humor.

  3. I share your ambivilence toward Facebook. I have a Facebook page, but I find it so random and weird with, as you say, all the sheep throwing and kidnapping, etc. I like blogspot/xanga/wordpress ever so much better.

  4. folks, Mom is now signed up for facebook, and you can find it here: http://www.facebook.com/people/Dorcas-Smucker/1122232521

  5. Guess its what a person thinks is foolishness, Ellen doesnt like the "sheep throwing foolishness" and I dont like the many many emails with jokes on them that somehow fill up my inbox, which I happen to think is foolishness.:)

  6. I've been hijacking my hubby's facebook and writing random comments on his friends' walls. Decided I needed to quit sneaking around so I started out the new year with my own facebook account :-)
    Just another way to stay connected with friends around the world!
    We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE D.C. Our favorite place is the botanical gardens. Rain or shine, it's always a wonderful place to visit.