Thursday, June 21, 2007

Running With Librarians

This morning I drove OC to day camp, then took a detour to a neighborhood in the southwest part of town to check out the running conditions on the roads and the hills. When I got home, I opened up Google Earth to check the mileage of this route. I won't bore you with details of what I have learned about cadence and speedwork, and so let me just say that I think I may be a little obsessed with the running thing. Runners World magazine mentioned this might happen. (How did they know???)

I went for a run with my friend - the marathon runner - while in DC. I was grateful to her for going slooooowly for me, the barely-can-do-a-5k-er. The air! in DC! is thick! I felt like there was much moisture in the air I could have practically drank it. Run along, breathe, open mouth, drink!

That would have been convenient, actually.

How do people cope with the humidity? I am an admitted fan of wet weather, but not HOT wet weather.

Speaking of DC: I cannot help but think that it stands to reason that if someone had put a pamphlet for the Library of Congress in my hand as a high school senior, I would have had a very different life. Instead of the glamorous mommy blogger that I am today, I might have been an analyst for the Congressional Research Service and spend my days analyzing public policy and writing reports. Sound boring? Well, maybe some subjects would be, but think of the topics you would uncover without knowing you ever wanted to in the first place? It's like traveling with the goal to see all 50 state capitals. There may be no other reason I'd go to, randomly, Connecticut or Alabama - but doing something like that would open up a whole new world of exploration. Not to mention boring slide shows. (Here's the capitol building from yet another angle, each slightly less interesting than the previous. Woot!)

The Library of Congress has an amazing collection of original works: James Polk's handwritten diaries, music scores by Gershwin with his pencil marks on them, one of three existing copies in the world of the Gutenberg Bible. All that and more, here:

I did not see the whole place. No way. It's too big. If you go to DC, you need two weeks, or more, and even at that you will be exhausted at all the sites. It will only take you several minutes to be annoyed at all the tourists, forgetting that you yourself are one.

Someone figured out how to do a mosaic on a ceiling:

I think the decor is called "non-understated irrestrainedness".


marnie said...

Wait? Obsessed with running? I've heard about people like you...

I still want to kill myself after the first 8 minutes... then the desire to die fades... then I just want to kill and/or mutilate something. After 15 to 20 minutes I bounce back and forth between wanting to die and wanting to kill someone else.

Running has proven hazardous to my health, or the health of people around me... but my ass is looking pretty hot.

Occidental Girl said...

Yeah, I pretty much feel like that, too. Except the killing someone part. I don't have enough energy to think about that, only what I'm going to eat and drink once I get done with this ridiculous running thing.