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people, games, museums, sleep deprivation

Saturday some family friends came over, including: a classmate of Helen's from her Japanese classes in Kumamoto, with her husband, child, and a couple portfolios of her excellent sketches and paintings: my cousin beth, with her husband and kids (who six-handedly raised the house noise level dramatically); and my parents' friends the Grays.

Sunday we went to the newly constructed national garden, had a tasty lunch at the NMAI cafeteria, and the saw the newly renovated American Art and Portrait Galleries--definitely worth a visit! I mostly spent my time in their special exhibition on Joseph Cornell.

We got back in time for dinner with the family that used to live across the street from us when I was about 10 to about 14. The son, Shawn, is my age, and except for one visit right before college, I think, I hadn't seen him in over 20 years. He and his father were still both instantly recognizeable. Shawn's mom, wife, and twin 6-month olds were also there. They're a great family, and I wish they could have visited for longer.

After they left, all of us but my Dad (the one non-game player of the family) played a game of Bohnanza. It was Aunt Helen's first game, but she picked it up OK as we went along.

Monday Sara and took the metro back to the newly renovated museums. Since our train was leaving from union station that afternoon, we had all our luggage with us. To the guards' disbelief, we managed to cram it all into their lockers, then spent a couple hours poking around the museum some more; I saw the rest of the Cornell exhibit, Sara looked at the collection of presidential portraits, and we both found some amusing surprises along the way.

After extracting our luggage and redepositing it at Union Station, we had a lunch of Indian fast food, and took a quick tour of the neighboring postal museum. The most interesting part for me was the reproduction train car with lots of mysterious mail-sorting equipment. (The most boring part is the stamps--so a certain stamp is rare because of some odd feature detectable only to an expert--why do I care?) Anyway, probably worth another visit when we have more time.

The train left on time and we had a pleasant evening watching the sun set, then snacking, reading, and watching the occasional christmas decorations go by.

When we went back to our seats to sleep we found there were a couple people in front of us who just wouldn't be quiet. I tried asking them to be quiet a couple times, and probably should have made more of a fuss, but I kept just hoping I'd fall asleep anyway.

So we arrived in Ann Arbor with very little sleep, had a solid breakfast together at Angelos, then went our separate ways to work. I wasn't able to get much done--I was just too tired to do much more than answer some email and fix an easy bug or two--though for some reason by the evening I was feeling revived.