Earlier this week, I visited Washington, D. C. Again. And I had a wonderful time. With a few exceptions, I usually have a great time whenever I go to Washington. I’ve been on or making semi-regular trips to Washington, D. C. since grade school. The vast majority of them occurred with my family. A couple were for school or with friends, and a few were solo or duo trips. Even after I moved away from home, trips back almost always included a train or car ride down to Washington, specifically to the National Mall and the Smithsonian museums. The National Museum of American History, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the host of other lesser-known museums that make up what most people simply call “The Smithsonian.”
While portions of this tourist district haven’t changed in thirty years, the institutions and monuments that stand there have. New memorials have been erected, new events take place almost every day on that long, grassy area between the Capitol building and the Washington Monument, but most of all, the Smithsonian museums have become active. Yes, they’ve always been active centers bustling with people, but now they serve to promote active history rather than showcase dead things and objects behind glass. It’s an amazing transformation, and one that’s very heartening to witness. It also makes me very happy to see that, after all these years, this area continues to attract crowds by the millions.
Continue reading Washington, D. C. for the Agoraphobically-Inclined
The fabulous Hannah returns to co-host the show this week as the duo somewhat tiredly discuss their most recent adventures and their big lifestyle changes in diet and exercise. Also this week, Joshua continues to get hype for Godzilla and the upcoming Big Wow Comic Fest and the two of them get overwhelmed by communications and share some cutesiness. Seriously, they’re cute. #dealwithit
Like a lot of kids, I watched a lot of Disney movies growing up. I still remember seeing The Lion King in theaters, and acting out Pocahontas with my sister when we watched it at home over and over. I saw Mulan in theaters twice — once with my dad, who almost never took us to the movies but actually seemed to enjoy that one. My mom always liked Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella, so those were in heavy rotation at our house, and Aladdin was a big hit when I was young. But my personal favorite was always The Little Mermaid.
What amazes me most about that movie is that all the things I liked about it when I was a kid still hold true today. I liked that Ariel was a daydreamer who didn’t want to stay put. She had this crazy collection of exotic finds from the human world, which she used incorrectly because her dealer was an eccentric seagull. So she brushed her hair with a fork. That was all right with me. Maybe she was a little obsessive in collecting things from the world of humans, but I always liked that she had a secret space all her own for that sort of stuff. She wanted to travel and experience life in another place, another culture, from a new perspective.
I’ve done similar things in my own life. Besides being a little obsessive about my interests, I love traveling and living in other places. When I was 19, I moved far away from home to experience a new city and lifestyle, which was kind of terrifying at that age but ended up being a life-changer. And I’m still a daydreamer. That’s part of what makes me a geek.
But it’s got me wondering whether I always related to the character Ariel, or if it happened the other way around. Maybe The Little Mermaid actually had a really big influence on me, and that’s why I love Ariel so much even today. From watching that movie, I learned that imagination is good. Daydreaming is good. Getting to know other kinds of people is good. And being passionate about other places and foreign things is something that can lead to real adventures, even if not everybody understands why you have that impulse at first.
Even though I loved so many Disney movies growing up, I rarely re-watch them now that I’m an adult. My biggest exception is The Little Mermaid. That’s the Disney movie that still, to this day, feels most like me.
Nicola drops by to star in this week’s episode of From Cassettes. The guys sit and talk about gallivanting, steampunk, fake gay marriage support, rabies, Dubrovnik and FLIRTING ADVICE. It’s a funny one.