We are down to the final six days of NaNoWriMo–the authors’ form of PMS–and one sign that I have actually been at the keyboard grinding out the requisite number of words per day has been the neglect of this blog. This month has been a fairly active one, and not exclusively at the keyboard.
No news is good news when it comes to cardiac news. There is nothing to report on that front, except for the appointment (and possible cardiac catheterization) on the 11th, just over two weeks in the future. The aneurysm remains at 4.5 centimeters, 1½ cm shy of how dilated it would be to require surgery. My understanding is that if I wake up every day, that means it has not burst.
NaNoWriMo has not completely dominated my life this month. The weekend after Veterans’ Day, I went on a truly quick trip to Washington, D.C. It was a milestone because this was the first time I had gone as a tourist since about 1983. Previous blog entries and my diaries bear me out when I say that all of the trips I have taken to Washington since that time have been politically-oriented: anti-war, pro-environmentalism, 350.org, etc.
I don’t know where I learned the phrase “bang-zoom,” but it is fitting for this trip. I left by Greyhound Friday night (it was supposed to be at 9 p.m., but we didn’t pull out of the station on East Town Street until 10:30 or so), traveled by way of Pittsburgh, and arrived at Union Station in Washington just after 8:30. My tour guide and boon companion on the trip, of course, was Robert Nedelkoff, who is well versed on D.C. history, although not a native, and literature, music, and other subjects as well. When I arrived at Union Station, I texted him: Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed. It is always good to make allusions like that to someone who is old or well read enough to actually understand them.
One of the stops would be Arlington National Cemetery, since the following Friday would be the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, it was “only fitting and proper” to visit his grave. However, I did feel like I was visiting a grave while I was in Union Station, waiting for Robert to arrive on the Metro.
When I was in Washington in February, Robert and I took a tour of the Barnes and Noble, which was going to close in six to eight weeks. I bought a journal for Susie and a paperback James Patterson novel (when in Rome… the Alex Cross series takes place in D.C.) for myself. I went to the site where the former Barnes and Noble had been, hoping to get some satisfaction from seeing an empty storefront. No such luck. H&M, a Swedish clothing chain, has opened a store in its place, and there was a very rapid turnaround time between the two businesses.
My main reason for going to D.C. this weekend was to see the JFK exhibit at The Newseum, but I was disappointed with this. Other than some contemporary hardware (such as the original yellow copy displayed in a Teletype machine from United Press International, the clothes Lee Harvey Oswald wore when arrested, and JFK’s personal Smith-Corona electric typewriter), there was nothing that I either could not access on YouTube or which I had not purchased as DVDs at the Cincinnati Nostalgia Convention.
|Author James L. Swanson autographs the copy of End of Days that Robert bought for me. This event was at Politics and Prose on Connecticut Ave. NW on Saturday night during my visit.|