Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
DC reporting in, #16: DC Days
I was going to skip two weeks, but on looking back at my calendar I have to acknowledge that quite a bit happened in them and so skipping them would not do them justice … things aside from long days in the Kluge Center, filled with images and books and different reading rooms and database building.
Among these are – as far as photographic evidence goes – the WWII flyby (which meant lunch outside for us LoC scholars on a sunny Friday, instead of inside … only without actual food) and a Sunday out in the outside area of the United States Botanical Garden (about a 20 minute walk from my place) which I spent re-reading some Jules Verne (relevant to my research) and also taking some photographs. There were also lectures at the LoC and another baseball game (this time against the NY Yankees, with much better weather), a barbeque (the other Sunday) and a board game day on which I was introduced to “Fortune & Glory” (fun, & roughly a WWII/Indiana Jones version of Arkham Horror – and for which I imitated various European accents), and also a tour of the National Archives where I saw the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution, among other documents (no photography allowed – but think “National Treasure” for an idea of the layout of the place). More photos from these days might show up here, but now you know what day-to-day DC days are like (the ones that aren’t merely “go to the LoC early, return late) – in brief, anyway, and we’re almost caught up (so we can fall behind again shortly :-)).
Research-wise, my image collection now stands at 514 – not counting Russian images or images that haven’t been sorted into the main image folder. Which reminds me that I need to write about my image processing process at some point… .
Saturday, February 28th, 2015
DC reporting in, #1
So, here’s my first update from DC, on my second morning here! I got here safely and my landlady and housemate for the next seven months was kind enough to pick me up from the airport, which meant that I did not have to lug all my luggage around using various modes of transportation, for which I was and am grateful! After letting me unpack she also took me to the shops, which means that I am now stocked up on some of the basic grocery essentials (like rike, tea, emergency cans of re-heatable things, …) without having to carry them all on my back.
Yesterday I did a combination of errands and orientation – I now have a US SIM card for my phone (with 1 GB of data, unlimited texting and calls in the US and also unlimited texting and calls to Germany), am in the process of opening up a bank account, and also know my way around a little bit. I think I spent almost two hours in the T-Mobile store in total (what with me deciding to add on mobile phones in Germany for another $5/month and the plan not going through properly the first time), but it all got sorted out (I think) (bonus point of ‘lets see if texts work’ was that it lead to a nice text and phone conversation with K & S! Thanks for ‘guinea-pigging’ it for me! :-)). I did not carry my big camera around with me yesterday (as there were some things I wanted to buy and me thus using the backpack rather than the camera bag), so all the photos you can see here were taken with my mobile phone only (still, the big three are all here, so there’s that, right?). The weather is beautiful, but cold. Windchill! Brr.
The public sad news is of course that Leonard Nimoy has died, which feels a lot more close and personal to me (and a lot of people I know, as I’ve read) than it maybe objectively is (in the sense of how much one reciprocially knows about one another). This reminds me of the strange relationship we have to people who play characters we like (which I’ve read a lot of things about, over the course of my studies), and yet also, and far more, the personal interactions I was lucky to have with him. Due to various reasons I think I got to spend almost 3 hours talking one-on-one to him during different moments in time, and I remember him as someone reserved, kind and soft spoken, who had a lot of interesting and intelligent things to say about poetry, prose, and music (we did not talk about Star Trek. You can read what he thought about Spock and Trek etc in so many places … so, you know … also once you start talking poetry it just takes you places, conversationally).