Last weekend my Dad came to Washington D.C. for a few days. We spent most of our time in D.C. itself, and saturday in College Park watching the University of Maryland vs. Wake Forest American Football game. What with it being Halloween weekend it was pretty hectic.
On friday we walked around D.C. after my lectures, and saw some of the sights; the Mall, the Capitol Building, the Supreme Court, Union Station, and Arlington National Cemetery. Living in College Park it’s actually really easy to forget how great just walking around D.C. can be. Arlington was a fascinating place to visit for the first time, especially considering some of the leaves were just starting to turn. Next weekend I plan to head back there with my camera, and wonder around for a good while. It’s strange, but most of the trees are still green, and we’re still getting days every so often in the mid-60s. Comfortably wearing a t-shirt at the tail-end of October is something I can’t really come to terms with. After that we went back to Georgetown, where my Dad was staying, on the Blue Line, and had dinner. And after that I went back to College Park to attend a Halloween party. I didn’t have a costume prepared at this time, so I decided to cop out majorly, and wear a suit. Somehow I thought a suit was better than just wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I suppose it shows you’ve made some kind of effort, though not really the right kind. When people asked me what my costume was I told them I was dressing as a Philosopher, and even told someone I was Robert Kuhn. Don’t worry, I know I’m not funny.
Some College Park students were getting really into it though, and I saw a couple of astounding costumes; I saw a girl dressed as Tom Cruise in Risky Business (which was my personal favourite of the evening), I saw a brilliant unicorn, and I experienced a magical moment as two complete strangers dressed as Wally from Where’s Wally? saw each other, ran across the street to embrace, and simultaneously said the words ‘I finally found you’. Oh, and there were a lot of girls dressed as slutty sailors, slutty nurses, and so on. That kind of goes without saying, though. We went to some house party off campus, and as soon as I walked through the door some guy ran at me and shouted ‘Hey, you’re that British guy in my cognitive science class! Hey man, you stand out man, I tell you – no one else stands out, but you do! If you walked down the street everyone would know who you are!’ I started talking to him – he was really excited that I both existed, and was there having a conversation with him – and he almost immediately offered me a drink; ‘D’you want some eggnog, dude?’ I said ‘sure’, and then he told me it was homemade. I hesitated, and then said ‘sure, but just a little’. It kind of tasted like raw eggs and vodka, or rather vodka and raw eggs. As soon as I wondered off someone else approached me and asked what my costume was. I told him I was a philosopher, and he asked me if I was Peter Singer, as he thought I was putting on an Australian accent. I tell you, for some reason when I’m at a party there’ll be, without fail, at least two or three people who don’t believe that I’m english. They’ll generally furrow their brow, and say that I must be putting it on. They invariably ask me where I’m from, and when I say London they respond ‘that’s so obvious, you’re clearly making it up’. I’m not sure why this is, but it’s always amusing to try to talk someone round. Generally they’ll accept that I’m not putting on an accent, although more than one have flat-out called me a liar, and even walked off.
So we then had a ten-or-so minute chat about the philosopher Peter Singer in the middle of a house party. Sometimes I feel like I miss the point of house parties. It got busted a short while later, and so we went back to my flat in Leonardtown to watch a film. We settled on The Shining, I had forgotten how good that film actually was.
On saturday my dad came up to College Park to walk around the campus and watch the Terps vs. Wake Forest game. Originally I had planned to head into D.C. before midday to attend Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. It was a huge rally on the Washington Mall which aimed, essentially, to show people that reasonable debate was preferable to the scaremongering and accusation-throwing that makes up a genuinely scary amount of the American media. Unfortunately the metro at College Park to D.C. was packed: there was a line of at least four hundred people just waiting to buy tickets. I could have made an attempt, and I would have probably got to the Mall for at least a couple of hours of the rally, but the game was at 3:30, so I decided the rally was a lost cause. My Dad came up on the metro, and we walked around the University, and then went to watch the game.
Tomorrow I’ll write in detail about the game, and post a bunch of pictures I took during. Right now I have to head off to a club in D.C. to which I’ve been invited. People may know I’m not necessarily a club person. We’ll see how it goes.