I've been in DC for the last week, working an estate sale in Kalorama, the toniest bit of the capital and also the place where a horrific multiple murder occurred just days after I left town to prep for Prague in May [the death house was just two blocks away, and was gutted by arson subsequent to the family members' being mortally tortured by a former employee (now in prison, awaiting trial)]. I'm glad I missed this event--one of my coworkers knew the family and was beside herself with grief.
The house where we did the sale was huge, and filled with antiques and hugely expensive brand-name goods. I don't understand why, if you have buckets of money, you'd buy something that, for all its exclusivity, is basically mass-produced. Why not instead commission something to be made specifically for you--a true one-of-a-kind piece instead of a thing emblazoned (usually in a tacky proportion) with a famous name? As I've written before, many people are under the delusion that just because they paid a lot of money for something, it's worth bunches, and some are under the further misapprehension that its value may have even grown since they acquired it. Unless it's truly unique, probably not. The sale was well attended and stinkers were minimal, so the stress level wasn't unbearable, and we all survived without tearing our own or each other's hair out.
After we finished work last night, a colleague and I went for dinner at Cactus Cantina, a good Mexican restaurant basically across the street from the National Cathedral. I polished off a third of a pitcher of strawberry-line margarita (with an equivalent amount of water) and an enormous plate of chicken enchiladas--I'd had one cereal bar to eat all day, and according to my pedometer, I'd walked 4.5 miles indoors between 10 AM and 4 PM. I was so full I hurt. The dinner sure beat the bacon-topped glazed donut I'd inhaled for my Friday evening meal! Saturday, I developed a severe migraine and stumbled up to collapse in silent dark instead of eating anything (or going to my honorary niece Faith's fourth birthday party, to which I'd really been looking forward; Sunday was my sister's 38th). I think one contributor to the migraine was severe dehydration--although I'd finished off one bottle of water during the day, that wasn't enough to offset the 5.5 miles of indoor walking (and 38 flights of stair climbing) the sale required. Nausea extreme.
Today is my first day off in seven (thank God, Sunday a week ago was not only communion at church, I got to spend the afternoon with Jim and Candy, two old friends--otherwise I'd feel both spiritually and socially starved to an even greater degree), and so I lazed about in bed (too tired to go anywhere) and then got up to send off a third of a dozen job applications (to Ukraine, Russia, Japan and Slovakia--the last by way of a sweet Georgetown professor who came to our sale). In the meantime, my domestic stop-gap activities are accumulating, so I should be able to keep eating until something more permanent finally shows up (a lot of repping other folk's swell goods planned between here and December--my friend Anita and my brother Nate have both tentatively asked me to man the counters for them at a series of festivals and markets).
I hope (and plan) to see many more of my local friends before I return home to GA in a couple of weeks. Unless, of course, the Ukrainians hire me--their academic term starts in September, so I'd have to hie me home to pack ASAP.