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catching up - museum edition

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MoBob and I are both feeling poorly today so I stayed home from church. But at least spring is in the air!

Although I hate driving, I am fond of architecture in a non-specialist way, and I really enjoyed House of Cars at the National Building Museum. People certainly take parking lots for granted as ugly necessities; this exhibit showed that they are actually structures that combine (sometimes) beauty and function. I was amazed that early parking lots actually had elevators for individual cars, before the ramp model was invented. I think somewhere in American there is a parking lot shaped like the Guggenheim Museum.

Yesterday I was downtown for a morning appointment and decided to return home by way of the Smithsonian. I went to see the Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America exhibit, fully prepared for the latent onslaught of Catholic guilt. It started right at the door, when I got into the elevator with someone who more likely than not was a nun. It's funny how I am so fully indoctrinated that I can recognize women religious even when they're not wearing habits. I did like the exhibit, especially the sections on African-American nuns and nuns who set off into the Wild West. I was reminded of Sr. Margaret, who was the principal of my elementary school. She was very mean. Then when I was in college, my mom told me that Sr. Margaret was in the hospital (my mother was a nurse at a Catholic hospital) and I should go see her. So I did - and it was very strange. She wasn't wearing her habit, she was in bed, and she treated me like an adult. And she was proud of me. At any rate, despite the discomfiting memories, I do have a better appreciation of the nuns who taught me and many others with an iron will.

Since I was in the general area, I continued on to the Museum of African Art to see Artful Animals. I really enjoyed it, especially since there were many items from Burkina Faso, which I think is probably the most underrated country in Africa. I don't recall seeing many exhibits geared towards kids at the MAA but this one was nice balance for kids and adults, and set up with a lot of space so that kids could run around without being subjected to "DON'T TOUCH!" The exhibit space actually ended in an activity room for kids with some adult-size couches.
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