Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Tale of Lindsey's Brief Stint as the Undead

Good evening, and welcome to Masterpiece Theater(blog). Today is Tuesday, March 3rd. Since February 22nd, Lindsey has been on an adventure of sleeplessness, glamour, service, and sightseeing-- sometimes all at once-- resulting, as I mentioned in the last post, in a resemblance to a zombie. At one point during the week I told my friend Dani that I was experiencing something akin to a Mormon-style hang over. I’m looking forward to the day I finally get to detox.

Last Saturday and Sunday were sleep-deprived because of the usual combination of youth and social activities that extended past my normal bedtime. Unavoidable, and very enjoyable (except for this disgusting Peruvian chicken and butternut squash salad with couscous that I bravely attempted Saturday night in the Gallery District… bleeeeeh).

Monday was perhaps my favorite of all the adventure days. A woman contacted me over the weekend, explaining that she was from my home stake in Las Vegas and would be in DC shortly. Her name was Carol Ewing, and she has been legally blind for a number of years now. She wondered if I would perhaps be available to serve as her sighted guide while she was doing business on Capitol Hill. She is currently serving as President of the Nevada Council of the Blind and would come to DC as our state's rep. I told her yes I could help, and got work off (thank you, Milena! Best boss ever). Hence, I found myself climbing into a taxi early Monday morning to meet and escort this delightful lady around; by the end of the day, after visiting with our Nevada Senators and House Reps, both of us decided that our experience together was not service, but rather, a full circle of enjoyment and friendship. I got to listen to her present a wonderful set of issues to our state reps, and I really I enjoyed being able to see the Capitol and our democracy in action. Our representatives really are there to hear their constituents. I admired Carol for her strength and commitment to her various causes, and for just being a well-spoken, polite, and cheerful lady. Without her, I don’t think I would’ve ever had the opportunity to visit the Russell, Hart, and Cannon buildings, or taken the time to consider how much handicapped people still have yet to hurdle. And she was kind enough to introduce me to each of these important people, who in turn remarked that it was fabulous to see a young Nevadan “representing” over at the Smithsonian.

It was a great day. Funny sidenote: when I woke up on Monday, already tired, I thought, "Ok, she’s blind. I don’t have to do my hair or makeup." So I hit the snooze several extra times and shuffled into her cab a little on the shabby side. I was mortified later when I remembered where we were going and who we were meeting. By then, of course, I just had to suck it up and smile. Hee hee.

So after hanging with Carol on Monday, I managed more nights of staying up talking to various friends, chatting at Institute (a new experience for me- I’ve always had BYU classes to supply my gospel knowledge needs) and participating in late night grocery run, which all continued to sap my coveted night hours, and then… there was Louis Bourgeois.

The Exhibition opened this past week! Also, the fourth floor museum staff hosted their tri-annual board of trustees meeting (a very big deal, with very wealthy and important attendees). ALSO, after an 18 month search, the Hirshhorn selected a new director this week (Richard Koshalek… Google him). From my little outside corridor desk, I enjoyed a front row seat to all the energy, nerves, excitement, and sometimes panic of the senior staff members sprinting past me. It was a rocking week, to say the least. And then, of course, there was the Louis Bourgeois opening reception… which was NOTHING like my previous parties at the BYU MoA, that’s for dang sure. I think it'll go down in history as my first VIP event. Featuring a very popular open bar, of course, the event was replete with tuxedo’d waiters continually coming by with fancy drinks, and tiny delicious gourmet snacks, er, refreshements, stacked on silver platters. I basked in the glow of rubbing shoulders with senators, billionaires, and famous artists, being the little Cinderella girl that I am. All the while, I busied myself downing various European finger foods and sipping sparkling water from a fussy crystal glass. And talked art with the other interns and younger guests. I wished I had friends there to enjoy it with. Oh, and………. I Loved The Bourgeois Show.

I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe it’s because this selection of her works thankfully excludes some of her less-than-appetizing pieces. Maybe it’s because the works’ placement in the familiar curving walls of my home museum makes them less officious to me. Maybe I’ve really just turned over to the dark side (actually, I think that’s the ultimate reason, scary huh?). At any rate, I was thoroughly enchanted with the show, and hobbled home that night, after eleven hours of work in fabulous three inch heels, to my first adult encounter with lower back spasms :) Stupid heels and horrific office chair... they’re trying to bring me down.

In addition to the fun zone of the museum, I had a best friend from BYU, Danielle Walton, in town this week; she sucked up my other nights. I was so happy to see a familiar face and share some wicked laughter. Our adventures included 80’s dancing, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, multiple movies at our friend Taylor’s house, and the requisite shopping that all young American girl friends enjoy. Great times. Great, exhausting times. DC is growing on me.

And now, just for my beloved mother’s sake, an
artwork, (well... for her, and anyone else who has actually made it through this monstrous tale). Art, as you’ll have noticed by now, can endear itself to you via multiple means: its historic beginnings, its morals, its compositional elements, etc. This is one of my mother’s favorite paintings, which immediately attatches it to my heart. When she saw it in the National Gallery several years ago, its soft colors and gentle movement, along with the surprise of learning that it is by van Gogh (who she had never really been impressed by) etched it in her memory forever, and I went and paid it a visit in her honor last month. For you, Mama. Enjoy. PS did you know this may be the only painting of roses v.G. ever did? They don't know why...
Vincent van Gogh, White Roses, 1890. The National Gallery of Art.


MOM said...

Wahoo! Major story-telling this morning! Thanks Linds. I DO like Van Gogh, and it was fun to see White Roses again, although the thumbnail doesn't quite bring the same emotion that standing in front of it did for me. :)

What a treat to spend the day with Carol on Capitol Hill! I know she had a great time too. (Next time, makeup though. Yeah?)

And I'm surprised to hear you LIKED "Please, not Louise!", but happy to hear the museum did a good job of her works. I guess, if all works out, we'll get to check out her exhibit come spring break. We'll see. In the meantime, please don't turn over to the dark side! We love you Lindsey! Come back into the LIGHT!!

Colby and Katie said...

would your friend taylor be from alaska?? Because I know a Taylor from Alaska out there. small world perhaps???

Jayci said...

great post, thanks for the update!!! your 3-inch heel, rubbing elbows with billionaires and artists sounds fascinating and unendurably painful. Sorry about the sore back!! Van Gogh.... I have my own theories as to why he only painted these roses (as far as anyone knows). But it is a beautiful painting! I'm glad you had a good friend there to sap up your extra nights and go shopping with you. FUN! :)

MOM said...

Ask Jayci what her theory is on Van Gogh's painting only those roses. I'm curious, and curious minds want to know. :) Thanks, MOM