DC: Last sights

22 09 2007

In the last couple days, I had a couple more favorite sites to visit, but I also looked for new places to see. I started at the National Gallery of Art, East building, to see the exhibit I had waited for:

Edward Hopper poster

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DC: Skip the gluten

21 09 2007

On the way back from Hershey Park, we stopped in Baltimore for a celiac support group.  Rachel has celiac disease, which just means that when she eats gluten — a protein found in wheat, barley, oats, anything you would normally make bread and beer with — the villi in her intestines die and she can’t absorb nutrients.  So, you know, no big deal.  Technically, it’s an auto-immune disorder, so it’s not contagious.  To help spread the word, she got an internship at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, and she was just brought on as a full employee.  It’s tough to dine out without asking the waiters about every ingredient, which limits the menu almost entirely.  Some restaurants know what gluten is; some even have gluten-free menus; but most don’t have a clue.  At the support group, Rachel’s boss described her recipe book — all proceeds selflessly go to NFCA — and gave a viewing of the video podcast series that NFCA is making.

The following day, I was suckered into helping with the next podcast.  I mostly chopped onions and peppers and, due to being average height for a male but still taller than anyone there, I hung curtains to keep stray light out of the kitchen and out of the shot.  It was a lot of fun, and I got to meet all the people Rachel has talked about.  I also learned some secrets — is the oven really down there, or is it really ont he wall behind the camera? You never see it! — and more symptoms of celieac disease.  The founder of NFCA had several miscarriages  (because she couldn’t absorb nutrients, her baby didn’t get nutrients) and a veterinarian eventually diagnosed her before any people doctor did.  Rachel’s boss Vanessa, the one in the video, had persistent migraines than the most potent of medicines barely helped alleviate; early osteoporosis exacerbated mild carpal tunnel syndrome.  After a second blood test — the first was for diabetes, which the doctor had ordered by mistake, not being familiar with ‘celiac’ — she was diagnosed.  After getting off gluten, she hasn’t had a migraine since.  Some instances of ADD has been helped by staying away from gluten.  The symptoms are wide, so if you have any chronic pains or you get sick every time you eat, you might as well get checked.

DC: up to PA

21 09 2007

At the recommendation of her mom and sister, who had just visited before I did, Rachel and I went up to Hershey, PA to the chocolate factory. Yeah, they make chocolate in Hershey, PA. Who knew. The main building is a giant, fake factory.

Hershey coal stacks

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DC: You guessed it, more museums

17 09 2007

I also went to the Phillips Collection, a gallery off of Dupont Circle. Phillips was one of the first collectors and exhibitors of contemporary art back in the day, and part of the gallery is still in his original home. The rest was added one, and it was surely needed to fit the current collection inside. Besides the permanent collection downstairs, there was a special Impressionist exhibit upstairs. I found that I didn’t like bland pastels and went more for extremes of the bright colors of Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Edward Hopper, and Renoir; the dark and austere style of Winslow Homer and Charles Sheeler; or a mix, like Henri Rousseau. Read the rest of this entry »

DC: In the beginning

17 09 2007

Facade and dome


While Rachel’s been at work and at school during the day, I’ve been seeing the sights, and as this is Washington, DC, those sights are almost all the Smithsonians. Read the rest of this entry »

DC intro

13 09 2007

Plane wing

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9 09 2007

Anagrams are fun, huh? Anagrams? You rearrange the letters, and you get a secret message of the future. They say that’s what Nostradamus did. He didn’t make the KJB 81 letters across and do a word search, no. He made anagrams of his name because look at that name, you could write a book from it! Hazy Math Algebra Nerd is an anagram of my full name, but good luck going backwards. You know what else is an anagram of my name? Garbled, Hazy Earthman. What else? Earth: by Grandma Hazel. That last one freaks me out: I have a Grandma Hazel, she quilts, and one of her quilts could very well have been named Earth. Or Heart. There’s your Nostradamus.