So this is day 10 of the government shutdown, or day 8 working days off for me - a furloughed government employee. It's dreary enough with a pretty empty town, but the rain makes it even more dreary. And it is expected to last another several days. The rust is more obvious, the sandbags cover the metro access grills, construction has come to a halt. The only bright spots are the neon colored orange cones that are blocking the way to every park entrance, the neon yellow rain gear of the Capitol police - who appear to be the only ones working- and the somewhat colorful umbrellas of the few foreign visitors (who must be really disappointed!) arriving by the fewer and fewer bus loads only to view things from a distance. The neighborhood sidewalks on Capitol Hill are empty. It is very strange around here, and both my husband and I have had a flu/cold thing since it started. It kinda all goes together - don't you think?