Tuesday, December 15, 2009

operation gascap, pt 2

on our first full day we wanted to get out and see as much as we could see. we planned to be out for the entire day but weren't sure how bebe would tolerate it, or how we'd work in the all important nap.

all bundled up and ready to go. on our way to the first train of the day...

"okay. we've gotta hit the Mall, The Aaron Space Museum... find out what the deal is with this 'Aaron' guy, then rendezvous at the Zoo, somewhere near the pandas. my contacts will tell me more as we get closer."

"i'm not supposed to talk about it, daddy."

"matter of national security. sorry."
fine. just lay off the french. you know how upset speaking french makes your mother.

see? there you go, nice job. now look what you've done.
"sorry mommy."

i don't know what it is with the DC subway system, but it's like being in the Death Star or something. and it's lit all crazy with these glowing red lights and grid work...

"did you hear that? it sounded like laser fire. we've got to maintain a low profile."
what? whatever.

okay, okay! over there, in front of the weenie wagon! try to look forlorn! awesome, got it!

the sidewalks in DC were like massive walky oases for the beebs. they were so big and wide we could put her down, even on the main streets, and let her walk, or run

...or crawl.

in fact, that's all she wanted to do. what a weirdo.

am i the only one hearing the chariots of fire theme?

"hey! i found some gum!"

Finally we made it to our first destination: The Air and Space Museum.

for the first five minutes bebe ran around wildly, pointing at every dude she saw and squealing "is that Aaron?! how about him? are you Aaron!?!"
finally i got her to be quiet when i told her that there was no real "Aaron". he's just some guy the building is named after.

almost all of the museums are free, and they're always packed. especially one like this.

seriously- this isn't even a real museum! where's the stuffiness? where's the "art?"

this one had rockets, and jets, and planes

...and interstellar probes!

there were real cockpits to check out!

and actual plane fuselage... fuselages... fusalogi? real planes! HANGING FROM THE CEILING!

oh, and next to all of these huge actual planes and rockets and spaceships and diagrams and stuff, there was an ACTUAL mannequin of a BOY. out of all of this stuff, guess which one we couldn't tear bebe away from:


"uh, whisky tango foxtrot? the bean has left boston. i repeat, the bean has left boston. please acknowledge."

"hey! are you in there? i'm awaiting further instructions! hello!"

meanwhile, i ran around the room making airplane noises and POW! POW! sound effects.

"daddy! put your arms back down by your sides and stop running around! i think that guy was a double agent! i think he drugged me! also, help me get his balloon. it's red!"

"wow... i feel..."

"funny. wooooooo... i need to sit down."

"yeah, that's better. just need a minute to compose myself. let the anti-toxin take effect. i'm just gonna' lay on the floor here by the bathroom until it wears off. i think i'm hallucinating- all i can see are planes, lots and lots of planes. only, none of them are getting anywhere. they're just flying in place. whoever heard of such a thing... "

well, huh.

you and mommy should stay here and rest.

drink only bottled water. check to make sure the seal isn't broken. trust no one. the truth is out there. live long and prosper. and last but not least, may the force be with you.

is it just me, or does the idea of painting a logo that resembles a target on the side of your fighter plane a bad idea?

it was one thing to see all those big planes hanging in the main room, but it was something else to walk into a smaller room and be right up close with four-five of these fighter planes.

these are from the WWII pacific campaign, and a few of them were really no bigger than a modern day sports car. even the wingspans were short to promote fast turns with less stress on the body during dog fights.

again with the targets.

another cool thing they did was make many of the smaller rooms multilevel so you could get right underneath some of the fighters, then go up above and see into the cockpits.

"ball! ball ball ball!"

we only had a minute or two to breeze through the room with the solar system and models of voyager, but bebe stared with rapt attention at all of the balls, er, planets.

lunar lander, not sure which apollo mission it's from though. sure is a lot of tinfoil.

after lunch, we strolled back through the main hall.

they had a model of two orbiters docked to one another. the first US spacecraft to ever dock in orbit were gemini 6 and gemini 7. the ships themselves were joined together, but the astronauts weren't able to move from one ship to another. they could see each other through small windows, but that was about as close as they got. fun party fact: gemini 7 actually launched before gemini 6. it may not be that interesting, but it is a fact. and i probably wouldn't bring it up at a party, because there's no way you'll score with the hot chick if you start talking about space and stuff. that shit's for nerds. learn to play "more than words" by extreme on guitar. that will fill your dance card every time. it's about feelings. chicks dig feelings.

re-entry capsule, scientifically sealed in tupperware. bet it's fresh in there.

afterwards we headed out for a walk and- here's that nap!

unfortunately, it didn't last very long. it's hard to tell an entire city to shut the hell up, especially when you're out walking around in it. oh well.

"say, is that the capitol building?"
why, yes. yes it is.


"looks like a boob. with a big boob-pointer at the top."

well then, i'd rather you didn't tell me what you think the washington monument looks like.

once we were on the mall, bebe was crazed by the capitol building. any time i tried to get her to turn away from it she'd scream and throw herself on the ground. even after we left mommy sleeping on a bench like a wino, she insisted we head for the capitol building.

when we had been gone for almost an hour, i finally tried coaxing her back by offering mommy as a reward. she'd just say "mommy?" and turn away as if she were ready to go, but then she'd freeze, and turn back to the capitol.

finally i was able to get her to come back with me. well, not really. i carried her kicking and screaming as all of the people we passed looked at me like i was holding her by her eye sockets or swinging her around above my head.

we got her back in her stroller and headed down the mall.

"oh! pull over here! i'm supposed to talk to the dragon!"
bebe marie, what is with all of this cryptic secret agent talk?

"how the heck am i supposed to get a message out of this guy if all i ever hear is every tenth word as he goes around and around? i said 'just hide someone in a trash can!' but they were all like 'noooooo' and i said 'just have someone dress up as a bush!' and they were like 'just look for the dragon on the merry-go-round!'

"my first big assignment and i'm going to blow it at the merry-go-round. sweet."

"so far i've got 'bahhhhhh' and 'ooooooohhhhh' and 'werrrrrrrrrr.' what the heck does that all mean?"

"we're just gonna have to wait for this guy to stop spinning."

"amateur hour."

in the end, he never stopped spinning. and it was getting late in the day, so we moved on.

we came upon these people, who were on their way to get married. as we passed i heard the bride say, to no one in particular, "talk to the panda. the panda knows..." bebe pretended not to hear her.

back in to the death star.


stopping for some snacks on our way to the zoo.

here we go!

this little guy was about to be fed. we got there at the end of the day, and while most of the outdoor space stayed open, it was cold enough that the animals were all inside. unfortunately, we'd have a half-hour at best to see whatever indoor exhibits we could squeeze in.

at the panda's den, the "baby" panda just sat napping on his rock. bebe questioned him, and even though she tried every persuasive trick in the book, the panda wouldn't talk.

at one point he rolled over and thrust a paw over his head, almost as if he were pointing at the wall behind him. there, at the eye level of someone who may or may not be two and a half feet tall, was one word scratched carefully into the dirt: gorilla. bebe played it cool.

this would be her last shot. if the gorillas weren't talking, her short life as a secret agent would come to an end. not her life, just the secret agent part.

"oh man, there's too many people around. i'll have to blow my cover to get anything from these guys!"

"wait a second! that one in back! is he? yes, i think he is!"

"he's using sign language! quick, what's he saying? can you see?"

are you sure? it doesn't look like he's signing much, if at all.

there was a baby that crawled around his momma, and occasionally climbed the straps holding their, uh, couch in place.

"he signing... 'more.' more what? more..."

"yes! more bottom!"

"c'mon! c'mon! who's got more bottom?!?"
i didn't even think about saying 'mommy.' i just want you all to know that.
"elephants! elephants have more bottom! let's go!"

we passed the elephants, but they weren't around. we had come so close. bebe was a little crestfallen, but we knew what would cheer her up.


and juice.

the kid loves her fluids.

also there was this cool dinosaur

and mommy's boobs.

later that evening, on the way home:
you look a little worried bebe. is everything going to be okay?
"daddy, someone got to those elephants' big bottoms. i need to find out who..."

to be continued!

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