Saturday, March 15, 2008

Phoning it in

We've been in DC this week — me and the kid. J-F dropped us off at my sister's place on his way to Florida to watch training camp.

I've had my trusty laptop on my lap and have been working half the time, but that's fine. There's still plenty of morning and lunch and evening time for just hanging out — "just us girls," as Helena says — although, I do regret missing out on Tuesday's zoo excursion.

Helena's passed out early from exhaustion a few times. She woke one night, hungry. We watched tv: Mothra vs Godzilla, dubbed in Spanish, which features some exquisite music. A weirdly magical experience after midnight and with a 5-year-old by my side.

We had chili dogs at Ben's Chili Bowl: "It was not uncommon to see such luminaries as Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, Redd Foxx, Dick Gregory, Martin Luther King Jr., or Bill Cosby at 'The Bowl.'" I let Helena chalk her name on the bathroom wall.

We picked up some treats, and Helena scored herself a free cupcake, just for being cute.

We saw dinosaurs, and rode the carousel on the Mall.

I bought a book for me (By Night in Chile, by Roberto Bolano) and a book for the kid (There's No Place Like Space, from the Cat in the Hat's Learning Library). I'm not finding much time to read, but am progressing slowly through José Saramago's Seeing, having temporarily set aside the Alain Robbe-Grillet I had with me on last week's business trip to New York, the effect of being stuck reading which while my flight was 3 hours delayed was suspiciously like banging my head against a brick while walking round in a circle of constantly decreasing radius.

Today Helena and her aunt agreed to go to the zoo again, for my benefit. That is, last time was for my benefit, for me to get some work done; this time was for my benefit, to get to go to the zoo.

Today we saw a magnificent octopus.

J-F will be arriving soon; then we head home.

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