January 21st, 2007

little review

Poem for Sunday

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Saturday we went downtown to the Medieval Merriment Family Day and Open House at the Corcoran Gallery, which is in the last days of its Joan of Arc exhibit which we've been meaning to see since it opened -- it was free today along with the rest of the museum, though many galleries were closed (as the entire museum will be for the next three weeks in preparation for the next major exhibit). The Joan of Arc exhibit was focused on the changing image of Joan as warrior, mystic, waifish victim, heretic, saint and national icon in France, England and the US, with paintings, drawings, textiles and sculpture from all three countries as well as many illustrations from books. Our kids were a bit on the old side for a lot of the activities going on - making medieval headgear, balloon swords and a magician oriented toward younger children - but there were also strolling musicians and people in costume, so it was RenFaire-ish enough to be fun for them.

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The Corcoran Gallery is a block away from the White House and we have actually never taken our kids there (too young for the tour while Clinton was in office, too unpleasant an association while Bush has been in office) so we decided to walk by it. I was hoping for protestors with signs, but instead there were a great many tourists taking photos. I wonder whether it was the chilly weather or the mounted police keeping the protestors away. From there we walked another two blocks to the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum, which has an exhibit called "Myth or Truth? Stories We've Heard About Early America" through March. Some of the myths examined include the legend that petticoats catching on fire was the second leading cause of death among Colonial women (not even close), the origin of the phrase "mad as a hatter" (apparently because many hatters suffered from mercury poisoning), and the true meaning of the lyrics to "Yankee Doodle" (proper British insults to poncy Americans).

Since it was actually below freezing when the sun set -- a novelty this winter -- we went to California Tortilla for some hot food, in my case tortilla soup again while various family members had nacho chili and honey lime burritos. Got home in time to watch part of the East-West Shrine Game (I think the West won but I was not paying very careful attention). Sunday they are claiming we may get measurable snow -- the kids say it figures this is happening on a weekend when they already have no school Monday due to teacher meetings!