Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Back from the White House

I know, I know, I keep promising to talk about books but we just got back from our 9am appt. at the White House and I can tell you I'm very disappointed in my president! He didn't even come downstairs from the residence to say hello.
 Now, I'll grant you, he was pretty busy writing up his words of dismissal for the General from Hell, and if he (McChrystal) hadn't gotten the boot after that outrageous article in Rolling Stone yesterday, I'd have cut my Obama loose. Sure wish I could have been in the rose garden to hear it but our appt. was so early this morning - hey, I'm on vacation and a 5:30 alarm to get up and into the city was disconcerting to say the least - at least I can say "we were there when..."

My impressions of the part of the White House that visitors can see is mixed. I cried when I stood on the Roman Forum but I didn't get the same feeling when I saw Abigail Adams's samovar. What's wrong with me? The rooms are very cold (physically and emotionally) so one needs to remind oneself as one walks through, who actually strode these halls over the past 150 years.

Much was made of the paintings that Dolley Madison supposedly saved, single handedly, when the original White House burned down. Don did not remember that but I assured him that we had learned this in elementary school. Of course, I'm sure it was never mentioned that Dolley herself could never had lifted these gaudy, heavy paintings off the wall without the aid of the slaves who likely did her bidding, but that's another story.

Lunch at Politics and Prose, a purchase of a book or two...how is it that librarians are drawn to bookstores like flies to honey? I could get anything I saw in there for free when I get back to work Saturday but, no, I had to purchase a book to touch and chat up the sales clerks about ALA which begins here in Friday. And then, of course, there was the t-shirt Don had to get me and pretty soon we were trying to get out of DC at rush hour. Ouch!

So, for sure, tomorrow, I'll talk books. Began Lorrie Moore's A Gate at the Stairs yesterday and am reading like mad because my Sony will delete it when my two weeks are up. May I say, this woman is an amazing wordsmith and I'm derelict in not having read her previously. I swoon at her abilities and wonder in abject amazement where the words come from that can be so perfect that you say, "of course!" that's exactly how I'd describe that - but, you didn't, she did. Oh how I envy those with a facility for words!

Relaxing on the deck, wine in hand, sailboats galore out on the Bay and Lebanese food for dinner. Two more days of vacation but who's counting? Yours truly!

1 comment:

Holly C. said...

For a scholarly review of Dolley Madison read: David B. Mattern and Holly C. Shulman, The Selected Letters of Dolley Payne Madison, University of Virginia Press, 2003.