littlereview: (get critical)
Night Rain )

This is my week to do health-related running around, and today that meant having my annual physical (blood pressure fine, no major concerns, tomorrow I have to go have blood work since they failed to tell me to do so beforehand so my doctor can call me if there's anything weird in it). Then I went to pick up my new reading glasses, which are awesome -- they're bifocals, the big lens prescribed for using the computer, the smaller one for reading books/Kindle/phone screen -- now I need to save up so I can get another pair of bifocals that I can wear everywhere and see my phone screen better while I'm out.

We had some rain late in the afternoon, but the temperature was beautiful all day and there are flowers everywhere (of course there is also pollen everywhere, but I am so glad it's spring that I am doing my best to ignore it). In the evening we watched this week's Agents of SHIELD, whose problems with female characters continue though herein lies a very small spoiler about Simmons. ) Then we caught up on Warehouse 13 which I am glad is back, albeit briefly! Here are some photos from Hillwood's Faberge Egg Festival, which includes egg-rolling, reenacting of Russian children's games, and dances:


Celebrating Russia )
littlereview: (little review)
In Otto's Basement )

I have spent all day Monday trying unsuccessfully to catch up from a week of spring break -- in my defense, the weather was too gorgeous not to walk outside (bunnies! crab apple blossoms! tulips!) and my father invited me out to lunch, which we ate at Mosaic Cafe which has eggs benedict waffles, one of the best things ever invented (I had mine with feta cheese instead of Canadian bacon, yum). So the laundry is not folded, the request form for extra tickets to son's graduation has not been sent in, and the cats have by their own account been severely neglected. On a positive note, I have discarded nearly 1000 surplus spring break photos.

Adam has only a few days left to make a decision about college -- he is down to Michigan (his first choice, but he'd end up many thousands of dollars in debt), Syracuse (very highly ranked communications but not as highly ranked marketing, though they have offered him a nice scholarship), Indiana (highly ranked marketing but lower rankings overall, though they also offered him a scholarship), and Maryland (much too close to home for his tastes, but it's well-ranked, he got into every honors program they offer, and he has a great scholarship offer there). He is understandably somewhat stressed out about this and so are we!

When we went to the cherry blossom festival the weekend before last, there was a celebration going on at the Jefferson Memorial, which we discovered was to celebrate Jefferson's birthday. I always knew when he died -- the Fourth of July, the same day as John Adams -- yet somehow I had not known when he was born. Here are some photos from after the ceremony, from which we were at too much of a distance to get decent photos!


Jeffersonian Day )
littlereview: (jewitch)
El Beso )

The weather was gorgeous for the last day of Adam's spring break, breezy in the low 60s, so after letting him sleep late and get some homework done, we went to the National Colonial Farm at The Accokeek Foundation in Piscataway Park, which was created so that Mount Vernon across the Potomac River would have an appropriately scenic view. Apart from a bunch of people fishing on the dock, the park was not at all crowded, and we arrived at the barn just when it was time for the babies to be fed, so Adam and I got to give bottles to the two recently adopted lambs and the calf whose mother wasn't producing enough milk.


On the Farm in Accokeek )


Apart from watching the Easter Bunny knock out the racing presidents at the Nationals game on TV, we did not do anything Easter-ish, though we drove home through DC to miss the Beltway traffic and to pick up a freecycling treat and saw several decorated lawns. After dinner we watched Once Upon a Time -- needs more Cora flashbacks -- and Cosmos -- which is generally pretty darned good as it is -- before catching up on the first episode of The Real History of Science Fiction on BBC America, which is terrific -- lots of writers, lots of actors, lots of delightful clips, Rutger Hauer looking amazing at 70 without Botox!
littlereview: (get critical)
Gulls )

We're watching The Ten Commandments, though I have to confess that since the first time I saw Prince of Egypt, the kids' animated musical which humanizes the characters so much more effectively, seeing Charlton Heston triumph over the far more interesting Yul Brynner has not done much for me. It's after 11:30 and they've only just gotten to the Golden Calf. We missed the beginning because we were watching Ghost Rider since Adam wanted to see Nic Cage as a superhero; I have never seen it before and it is pretty cracked, though fairly entertaining.

Earlier, while Adam was out with his friends having lunch and shopping for prom clothes, we stopped at Petco for kitty litter and went to Brookside Gardens. A lot of Wheaton Regional Park is under construction, including the Japanese garden and the visitor center, but there is lots in bloom, including daffodils along the woods path, tulips all through the lower gardens, and many flowers in the greenhouse. We saw geese building a nest, several species of turtles, a few frogs, robins, squirrels, songbirds, and a bunny moving in and out of the daffodils.


Spring at Brookside )


Happy Easter if you celebrate!
littlereview: (photos)
Time Study )

Once again we had gorgeous weather on Friday. Since Adam's plans to go to Six Flags with friends did not come to fruition, we took him to Riverbend Park in Virginia to see the bluebells blooming and the waterfowl in the Potomac River instead:


Riverbend Park )


We came home so Adam could walk the neighbor's dog and pick up his friend, then the four of us went to my parents' for Passover leftovers which were still delicious. Afterwards we caught up on the Cosmos we missed Sunday and watched Man of Steel.
littlereview: (green little review)
From 'Love in the Time of Cholera' )

Thursday was as beautiful as Wednesday, cool and clear, so since it's still spring break for Adam, we did all our work in the morning and went to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore in the afternoon. A lot of the zoo is under construction -- the new penguin enclosure, the Chesapeake region, the African bird house -- but we got to see lots of animals and picnic!

Then we went to the nearby Howard Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park, which has an exhibit of locally made fairy houses and lots of spring blooms, though sadly no more fish in the indoor fountain. After visiting the glass house, we went to see the cherry blossoms in Druid Hill Park, which bloomed after DC's and are therefore just peaking as this week ends.


Druid Hill Baltimore )


Adam had plans to go to a birthday party in the evening for which he got a haircut in the morning, so we came home from Baltimore late in the afternoon and had dinner without him. Then [personal profile] dementordelta and I decided we were in the mood to watch Die Hard, which I haven't put on in ages, and it's just as much fun as ever -- much more than the newest one!
littlereview: (photos)
The Heart of a Woman )

Wednesday was cool but gorgeous -- fine, by Tax Day we really should not have frost on the flowers and we have another freeze warning tonight, but the sun was out all day, so we went to the National Zoo to see some of the many baby animals there. The lion cubs aren't old enough to be on public display and the cheetah kittens were inside as well, but we got to see the baby panda, the tiger cubs, and lots of other animals:


Zoo Animals )


We took a picnic to the zoo, which was extremely crowded by mid-afternoon. We came home, I folded laundry, Adam walked the neighbor's dog, eventually we had dinner. Then we watched The 100, where no one will be surprised to learn I find the adults more interesting than the hundred kids, and The Americans, where I was wondering what the kids were up to while the parents were up to their usual awful things!
littlereview: (get critical)
The Practice )

We had perfectly miserable weather on Tuesday -- first it was warm and pouring rain, then it was cool and hailing, now it's just above freezing and all the local flowers may lose their heads overnight. Because of this, we worked and did chores in the house while Adam went out first with Emily to shop for Passover stuff, then with his friends for dinner and Skyping an old friend. In the afternoon we took a ride to Kenwood to see whether there were any cherry blossoms left, but the trees were turning green and the photos mostly have rain smears on the lens:


Rainy Cherry Blossoms )


We had Yankee pot roast for dinner (well, the vegetarian Pareve kind) since Paul thought it was Patriots' Day, then we watched this week's Agents of SHIELD which I would like so much better if 1) Ward or Simmons could play more than one emotion each, 2) May would actually get to do more of the things, and 3) everyone would STFU about the Special Specialness of Skye, it's Whedon Perky Girl syndrome all over again, we get told how special she is while she does things that would only be considered basic competence if an older character did it, except "older" never means women, it means male mentor figures. It's so sad that Dallas's women hold my interest more.
littlereview: (jewitch)
A Newborn Girl at Passover )

We had ambitious plans for Monday, but the need to get work done in the morning and uncertainty about our kids' schedules put them off. We had thought about going to Kenwood to see cherry blossoms but Adam stayed at track for longer than we expected, and we ran out of time for the National Arboretum before picking up Daniel for the seder.

I am bursting with matzah, haroset, eggs, salad, soup, tofu chicken, carrot souffle, potato pancakes, macaroons, and about twelve other desserts which we ate at my parents' house, along with the kids, Paul's parents, and friends of my parents along with their daughter. It was a lovely relaxed evening once I refused to do the Four Sons!


Chag Sameach )
littlereview: (photos)
Sakura )

Yet another quickie as we have had a very full day -- we woke up early and [personal profile] dementordelta got up even more insanely early to drive here so we could go into DC to the National Cherry Blossom Festival before 10 a.m., since we knew our only realistic chances of getting free parking and seeing the trees without insane mobs of people required getting downtown well before noon. We managed both, though by 11 a.m. the Tidal Basin was still extremely crowded! There was a ceremony going on at the Jefferson Memorial in honor of Thomas Jefferson's birthday with some Jefferson descendants, and there were large families, a pair of beauty pageant winners, at least one bride, and many other people taking photos under the trees.

After eating lunch at the park ranger station near the Washington Monument and circling the hill with views of the White House, we went back to the car and drove to the Hillwood Museum, which was having its annual Faberge Egg Festival (the museum has two of them) with Russian dancing and crafts. There's also an exhibit on Catherine the Great's work as an art patron and lots blooming in the gardens and greenhouse -- we saw some of the orchids from the recent festival as well as more cherry blossoms, tulips, turtles, ducks, and several pairs of mating frogs in one of the ponds. By then we were all tired so we came home for ice cream, Sharpe's Company, some Shoujo Cosette, and Thai food for dinner in honor of Songkran.


Cherry Blossoms Everywhere )


[personal profile] dementordelta left after dinner, Adam went on a date, and [profile] apaulled and I drove Daniel back to College Park, stopping at Shoppers Food Warehouse to get things he'll need for the next couple of weeks. On Monday afternoon, we will pick him up again for the seder, possibly meeting my in-laws at the National Arboretum since it's on the same side of the Beltway as the University of Maryland. Adam and his girlfriend Emily came back here and we watched Fantastic Mr. Fox with them since Adam wanted a Wes Anderson movie -- wow, that's cracky even by his standards. Have a happy Passover if you're celebrating!
littlereview: (get critical)
To You )

I know I keep making excuses for quick entries but I must do it again -- I have both kids here and we all just watched Pacific Rim with Adam's prom date (she and I agreed the men are hot and we liked the fierce girl but although Adam thought there was too much plot for a movie that's supposed to be all about giant robots fighting aliens, I could have done with more character development and less stuff blowing up).

Both kids wanted to sleep late, so I did chores and stuff in the morning, then Paul made pancakes and eggs for everyone and we went to Green Spring Gardens near Alexandria. The cherry blossoms and magnolias were in full bloom, there were still lots of daffodils and the first tulips, and we saw many turtles, a couple of ducks and geese, and a hawk, plus the orchids and tropical plants in the greenhouse:


Virginia In Bloom )
littlereview: (trek)
Frog Haiku )

Extreme quickie as we were out this evening first at the Friday Night Spikes track meet at Adam's school -- a competition with another local high school and a DC school -- then driving to College Park to pick up Daniel who is home for the weekend, back there for classes Monday, then home again on Monday evening for Passover with all four grandparents. Earlier I wrote a review of DS9's "You Are Cordially Invited" and did various organizing chores for spring.

After we got home, we watched Darren Aronofsky's Pi, which a friend had reminded me I wanted to show Daniel since it's about math and madness plus bonus Kabbalah. I can follow the Hebrew letter numerological theory but not the math itself; still, the acting is excellent and it's really interestingly filmed with a tiny budget. Since Adam had a far more exciting day than I did, here he is at the track meet and earlier, during lunch at school, when he asked Emily to go to the prom with him:


Promposal and Track Meet )
littlereview: (photos)
Shakespeare’s Horse )

I finished all my work in the morning and spent the entire afternoon making jewelry -- long story short, I wanted something spring-y and cherry blossom-y, but everything I found was either too expensive, too fancy, or just not me, so I ordered some lucite flower beads from Etsy and bought some chain from Michael's. Adam came home early to work on a Very Important Project that I can't discuss until after he presents it at school tomorrow, and we all went for walks since the weather was completely magnificent -- even the bunnies thought so, they are back on our cul-de-sac.

We watched The Crazy Ones to see Pam Dawber and Robin Williams reunite -- I adored Mork and Mindy back in the day -- and this week's excellent Elementary, which had both a good mystery and a good Sherlock story, plus great guest stars. Now we are watching Comedy Central, which is an exercise in nostalgia all of a sudden now that we know Colbert is leaving to take over for Letterman -- I am happy for him, it's a step up, but I assume we're losing the character who parodies the news nightly in favor of something more corporate-friendly. Some Mount Vernon lambs:


Little Lambs )
littlereview: (get critical)
Automatic Teller Machine )

After waiting on Tuesday for the ophthalmologist, I waited on Wednesday to get new glasses -- not that I will actually have them for a couple of weeks, since the lenses for my astigmatic eyes have to be ordered. Since I was out, I also got frozen yogurt and looked in stores, including Brighton's out-of-my-price-range nautical bracelets and Sears' $4.99 end-of-season liquidation sale (don't be fooled by that name; they have summer stuff as well, and it's hard to say which I like more, the tie-dye and boho shirts or the chenille sweaters).

The Orioles have beaten the Yankees two days in a row, woohoo! And the Nationals beat Miami! And The 100 was pretty good tonight, and The Americans was too, though there's an awful lot of taking human life for granted on both and sometimes I'm more in the mood for Nashville, which is on hiatus this week. At least we got Colin Firth on The Daily Show. We have pink flowers coming out on our cherry and magnolia trees, we still have lots of daffodils, and our neighborhood bunnies are coming out earlier in the evening:


The Local Bunnies )
littlereview: (green little review)
To The Field Of Scotch Broom That Will Be Buried By The New Wing Of The Mall )

I lost a huge segment of my day waiting for the ophthalmologist, who was running an hour and a half late (which I might forgive if this was a one-time crisis, but I waited an hour for him last time too -- hopefully I won't need an eye doctor for another year and then I may be looking for a different office). There went most of my afternoon, while my morning was all about drudge-related activities. Nothing really exciting happened until ten minutes before dinnertime, when I was out walking and saw several happy bunnies and lots of daffodils and hyacinths. And Adam has a cold.

At least sports news was good -- the Nationals beat Miami, the Orioles walloped the Yankees, and UConn's women beat Notre Dame for the women's NCAA title. Plus Agents of SHIELD was really good this week, not only for the Winter Soldier tie-in story but because Special Snowflake was not praised outlandishly, my two favorite women had lots to do, and I Did Not See That Thing coming! And Jon Stewart just covered all the stupidity surrounding Noah from people who did not see the movie. Here are some photos from Longwood Gardens' conservatory last weekend:


Longwood Colors )
littlereview: (get critical)
Written in the Beginning of the Year 1746 )

Distracted because I'm watching Colin Firth on The Tonight Show (he sounds very tired, they must be sending him to an awful lot of promotions for The Railway Man; also, he was loads better looking with laugh lines around his eyes rather than whatever he's had done to erase them). I spent the day celebrating Russell Crowe's 50th birthday -- a man who looks awesome for his age in every way, though [personal profile] dementordelta and I were watching his work from many years ago since we already saw Noah, including The Crossing in which Russell is practically a baby and The Insider which is superbly acted by everyone involved and just as relevant as ever in terms of its analysis of news organizations.

We also went out so Delta could give some Star Wars standees to a local friend and to pick up Indian food for lunch, which we ate, along with chocolate pie, after a few episodes of Shoujo Cosette, which despite the puppies and butterflies is rapidly becoming one of my favorite adaptations of Les Miserables. After we caught up on the episode of Once Upon a Time we missed on Sunday, she had to go home, so I had dinner, watched this week's Dallas (oh, Bobby, give Sue Ellen a break!), and saw UConn win the NCAA tournament, which pleases my in-laws greatly. Here are some more photos from the Downton Abbey costume exhibit at Winterthur, including Lady Edith's wedding dress and Sybil's harem pants:


Dressed at Downton )
littlereview: (little review)
I spent most of Sunday in the Brandywine Valley with [profile] apaulled and [personal profile] dementordelta, where we had magnificent weather and got to see flowers -- the March Bank at Winterthur is turning blue and Longwood Gardens has a conservatory full of color. We also went to see the Costumes of Downton Abbey exhibit at Winterthur, which is delightful (the show has never aimed for perfect period-correctness in costuming or anything else, but for fans there are a lot of fun things to see, including lots of video clips and connections with things that the du Ponts collected).


Winterthur and Longwood )


We stopped for dinner at the Maryland House, where we had Curritos Burritos (ridiculously long wait to be served, but tons of quite good food for the money), then drove past the sunset around Baltimore in time to see this week's Cosmos. Then we watched Sharpe's Eagle, which has more accurate costumes than Downton Abbey and also Sean Bean. Congrats to UConn's women, condolences to my Lady Terps who still had a great season. More tomorrow!
littlereview: (get critical)
America )

I spent most of Saturday doing fun stuff, by which I mean having an early lunch, then going to meet a bunch of fannish friends to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Adam came with us to the movies, though a friend picked him up directly from there so he could go shopping, have dinner, and see Urinetown at his high school). The rest of us went to Uncle Julio's for an early dinner, and I got to catch up with [personal profile] gblvr, [personal profile] wolfshark, [personal profile] artemis_prime, and several other people over Mexican food!


Fangirling )


I loved the movie -- I thought it was better paced and in some ways better directed than the first one, and I was pleasantly surprised by how good the women's roles are -- though I am completely unfamiliar with the comics so I have no strong opinions on some of the story developments for the Avengers franchise. Very enjoyable performances, fairly tight scripting (Natasha is really well-written and deserves her own movie), a bit more disaster porn than I prefer but nowhere near as bad as Man of Steel.

Congratulations UConn and Kentucky; since my one bet was on Florida and I generally root for Wisconsin since my sister went there, I no longer care who wins the men's NCAA tournament. Among the women, however...Go Lady Terps!
littlereview: (trek)
I Send Two Sunsets )

Once again I am way behind on everything, this time because I was talking to Adam about prom and school drama stuff while watching Van Helsing with [personal profile] dementordelta (yep, still a terrible screenplay no matter how good Hugh and Dave look) and posting a review of Deep Space Nine's "Sacrifice of Angels".

My day earlier consisted of working and folding laundry and having dinner with my parents (and trying unsuccessfully to watch tonight's Graham Norton episode which won't air in the US for another two weeks, bah). But I got to have dinner with my parents and to see three bunnies, plus lots of new local flowers:


Neighborhood in Bloom )
littlereview: (green little review)
When daffodils begin to peer )

Scrapbook is putting all photos into the Unsorted folder tonight and taking forever to load, and LiveJournal just refused to save a draft I'd been working on for twenty minutes, so this will be a very short entry though I think I finally found the pics. Not much to report anyway, just chores and writing, plus gorgeous weather, snowdrops, forsythia, hyacinth, squirrels, bunnies, and cats very irritated at the range of bird visitors on the deck.

The University of Wisconsin got back to Adam with a financial aid package that isn't nearly as good as the ones he got from Michigan, Syracuse, or Maryland, so it's off his list and we are not taking a trip to Madison over spring break. I am slightly bummed about this, as I really like Madison, but Adam seems kind of relieved to have the choice narrowed down for him (Indiana didn't offer as much either, so I think it's probably out of contention too).

We caught up on Wednesday night's Nashville, which we skipped in favor of The Americans -- sounds like it's on the fence for coming back next season, which is sad, though I enjoy the music more than most of the writing -- then we watched Elementary, which is definitely coming back and always great, especially when there's Watson backstory. Here are some more of the daffodils that are opening locally in greater numbers every day:


The Spread of Spring )

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