littlereview: (jewitch)
Elsa Is Involved in a Clandestine Love Affair )

Paul needed to go downtown for clearance and security checks that some of his potential employers require, so since I needed to be awake early anyway to get Adam to NIH for the first day of his internship there, I drove into DC with him. While he was getting fingerprinted and dealing with paperwork, I went to the Smithsonian's Museum of American History, where he eventually met me. We went to several of our favorite exhibits, including the Gunboat Philadelphia and the Machine Age, as well as the new one on Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. Then we went to the Reagan Building's food court for lunch, where we ate Mediterranean food and I caught an Aerodactyl.

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Downtown )


When we got home, we caught up on the weekend television we missed, namely the distressing season finale of Elementary and last week's Matrix-y Doctor Who. We went to pick up Adam, who had a long and very good day working out his research plans with the professor in whose lab he'll be working, and came home for leftover gumbo. In the evening we watched the season finale of Supergirl (not the best they've done this season but plenty of Cat, some Lena, and gratuitous Superman, so I was happy) and James Corden's prime time Carpool Karaoke special, plus another episode of Genius for Adam. Given both the local and international news these past two days, we needed distraction.
littlereview: (green little review)
A Person Protests to Fate )

Quickie because we're watching some Genius with Adam, who didn't get to see the first few episodes while he was finishing his semester. Earlier, after a quiet but somewhat upsetting morning following the news from the University of Maryland of an on-campus murder that appears to be a hate crime, we went out in the lovely cool weather to Brookside Gardens for the butterfly exhibit and so Adam could see the goslings and turtles.

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Wings of Fancy )


We had turk'y roast for dinner and watched the season finale of Madam Secretary, which was, as it often is, a bit pedantic but a happy world. I got $15 sandals delivered from Kohl's and three cats spent a lot of time fighting over the box they came in. On Monday Adam starts his internship and Paul has work-related chores to do, on Tuesday I get to see the orthopedist who hopefully can tell me how to fix my back!
littlereview: (little review)
Love )

It was gloriously cool on Saturday and no cats woke me early. We picked up Adam from his movie marathon, ate lunch, and went to Kohl's because he needed some new clothes before starting his internship and I had a pile of coupons and Kohl's bucks, though I used some of that to buy myself a pair of Skechers super-bouncy flip flops because my feet are killing me from standing all day and the flip flops are spongier than any of the slippers! We also took a walk so we could see the goslings:

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Growing Goslings )


Christine came over for dinner (vegetarian crab cakes) and movie-watching, which included Beauty and the Beast (not my favorite fairy tale by a long stretch for a whole list of reasons; the cast is okay but whose bright idea was it to let Emma Thompson and not Audra McDonald sing the title song?) and an old Aussie TV video from when Hugh Jackman played Gaston. Then we saw Graham Norton and now we're on to the season finale of Saturday Night Live. I'd vote for Dwayne Johnson over many Republicans...
littlereview: (trek)
Ode To Cicadas )

Adam is home for the summer! Well, technically he isn't home now, since he's at an all-night movie marathon with the friends with whom he's doing all-night movie marathons since they were in high school together, but he starts his NIH internship on Monday so he will be staying here when he isn't traveling to Greece for an academic conference. We picked him up in College Park late in the morning after his last exam (he doesn't have all his grades yet but it sounds like he did very well), took him to the food store to get lunch food for the week and ice cream for the party, and dropped him off at the movie marathon.

Apart from that, it was a fairly ordinary day which started much too early when one of my cats knocked over my jewelry box, requiring an hour of restoration. Friday also involved vacuuming and laundry, a visit to the neighbor's fish pond to see the frog living there for the summer, finally evolving a Kabutops, and dinner with my parents. We watched the first episode of American Gods but I have to admit it didn't grab me. The other exciting thing around here has been the surprising noisy emergence four years early of many Brood X 17-year cicadas, which is probably from warm winters but could be a sign of the End Times!

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Warning: Bugs Inside )
littlereview: (get critical)
Of History and Hope )

I can't bear to deal with politics or celebrity deaths so I'm just not talking about them. It was very hot on Thursday, so hot that I thought maybe I'd skip taking a walk, though then Pokemon Go started an Adventure Week event with Indiana Jones hats and extra rock type Pokemon and I had to go chase down some Kabutos and a Shuckle. Because we had to go shopping since Adam is coming home for the summer tomorrow, Paul and I decided to go to Sheba for Ethiopian food for lunch, which was fabulous. We also went food shopping and went to look at the Brood X cicadas emerging four years early all over our county.

We watched this week's The Handmaid's Tale, which represents a significant departure from the book, but is very effective -- the story feels much less timeless, much more anchored in our specific political moment, but that also makes it utterly terrifying rather than generally unnerving. We also caught up on Blindspot, which was so tech-girl powerful and shipper-perfect that I'm almost sorry the show is coming back -- it could have been one like Forever and Limitless that I remembered as never doing a bad episode. Here are some Brookside reptiles from our visit in cooler weather earlier in the week:

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Critter Cam )
littlereview: (get critical)
Disarming of Shadow, Arming of Light )

I am still having trouble driving myself anywhere -- if I have to keep my foot on the brake for too long, my whole hip and leg cramp up, as I discovered the other day driving barely half a mile away to try to catch a Seadra so I could evolve a Kingdra -- so since Paul had work-related chores to do, I had him drop me off at the mall so I could have lunch (considered Indian but ended up at Cava again) and take a walk there (plus I bought a couple of things I needed, like a new USB cable, and a couple I did not strictly need, like perfume and a sleeveless blouse with miniature birds of paradise on it). The mall is having a spring flower exhibit with artificial topiaries and cherry blossoms:.

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Mall Topiaries )


When Paul picked me up, we went briefly to the park, but the weather was beastly so we came home and I did things like hang a mirror and put up some bedroom decorations. We are still behind on Blindspot so we didn't watch it, but we watched the penultimate episode this season of The 100, which I am starting to get worried is going to kill one or the other of my favorite characters (especially since one actor's on the new Inhumans show and the characters have declared their love, which in dystopian drama usually means someone's about to die). Then we watched the cracky Designated Survivor, which gets a pass on everything because of Maggie Q, though I miss regular Virginia Madsen sightings.
littlereview: (photos)
Raccoon )

Because we can't go visit Daniel for Memorial Day since I can't sit long enough to brave a plane, Daniel is coming here, yay! So I spent part of the day getting his former room, which is also now Maddy's former room, ready for him (it's much bigger than Adam's room, so we're thinking that Adam may want to sleep there for the summer as well). Then, after putting together chairs, Paul and I decided that -- since it was hot but not insanely hot the way it's supposed to be tomorrow -- we should go to Brookside Gardens while there are still fuzzy goslings instead of dinosaur goslings, and we saw those plus the usual wildlife and, unusually, a raccoon. I even got to rescue a baby turtle flipped on its back in a drain:

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Summery Brookside )


We watched The Flash, which was not any better written this week than most of this season (I can't feel anything about death on a show with tech that can make anyone look like anyone else, and though someone finally suggested putting Iris on a plane, it was dismissed with a handwave). But I'm appreciating it better now after the shitshow that is Agents of SHIELD, which I am not watching next season unless there's a shakeup in the writing staff. Things are so bad that Daisy is now my favorite character! It doesn't help either show that Genius is sandwiched in the middle; while it's tough to watch Einstein be a jerk, it is at least well written and well acted plus amazingly interesting material!
littlereview: (photos)
Instructions on Not Giving Up )

Paul had lunch plans with a former co-worker with whom he's been talking about possible future jobs, so I got him to drop me off at Washingtonian Lake, where I meant to shop and maybe get Starbucks but I got distracted because I found two families of goslings, whom I fed (fish food from the machines, nothing illegal) with the help of a couple of small children who were happy to toss food while I photographed the geese. So I only briefly made it into Charming Charlie and back to Pier 1 where the Easter stuff is now 90% off, though the adorable bunny glass etchings now on sale for $4 are impossible not to ruin while removing the styrofoam packed behind the glass -- I am very irritated I scratched up a bunny even if I got it 90% off, and I broke a little glass penguin while moving it to put up a witch ball, woe.

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Geese and More )


It was so gorgeous out (and forecast to be so hot the rest of the week) that after Paul came to meet me and took me home to grab a late lunch, we went to Cabin John Park to walk before a stop at Home Depot because we discovered that we'd left our electric screwdriver at older son's apartment when we moved him out to Seattle and assembled various IKEA items. When we got home we started assembling our new kitchen chairs and did various other household chores. After dinner, we watched Supergirl, which was utterly fantastic as it had Lynda Carter, Teri Hatcher, Brenda Strong, AND Calista Flockhart in addition to the usual awesome women, followed by the season finale of Once Upon a Time, which wrapped up the past six years' character arcs in a reasonably satisfying manner (two Reginas forever! Whoo!).
littlereview: (jewitch)
The Naming Of Cats )

The weather was spectacular for Mother's Day here, so after a morning of home stuff (fun things -- fixing charms on a bracelet, hanging artwork), we picked up my parents and went to the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, where we saw lots of beautiful artwork and crafts and even ran into our cousins Jane and Emily. Then we drove to College Park, where we met up with Adam, skyped with Daniel, chatted on Messenger with Maddy, and went to Mamma Lucia for dinner (I had ravioli in vodka sauce).

I got great gifts, including the book of the National Gallery's Frederic Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism exhibit from Paul, a silver cat necklace (based on an Edward Gorey illustration for Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats) from my parents, and a card with a math joke from Adam, whom we dropped back at his apartment to finish the school year then took my parents home. When we got home ourselves, we watched this week's Madam Secretary and Elementary.

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Festival and Family )
littlereview: (little review)
The Unexplorer )

The sun finally came out on Saturday! We went to take a walk along the C&O Canal, where there were turtles and ducks plus an egret wading in the low water because the river was so high. Then we went to College Park to IKEA to pick up new kitchen chairs because of our original six, two are completely broken and have been trashed, two have legs held on with string, and the other two are merely wobbly and creaking when the cats jump on them.

Since we were in College Park, we picked up Adam and Christine after they finished their first final exams of the semester and took them to Ten Ren's Tea Time, which in addition to fantastic bubble tea and taro buns has very good Kung Pao and General Tso's tofu. Then we took them back to study and came home for Doctor Who (creepy), Class (still daddy issues), and Graham Norton (Fassbender makes up for Keaton). Now, SNL.

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In the Water )
littlereview: (trek)
If They Are a Silueta )

Friday was almost as rainy as Thursday. I got a bit more exercise because Alice came over late in the morning and we went to the mall, where we did some shopping and ate lunch at Cava though our original plan was only coffee and maybe a snack! I got a 60% off dress at The Gap and tried awesome Nest perfumes that are outside my price range!

After Alice went home, I did exciting things like folding laundry until it was time to go to my parents' for dinner, where my mother served us Greek food. In the evening we started to catch up on Blindspot, on which I keep losing the thread of the conspiracy but love the kick-ass women. Geese, turtles, and various birds at Lake Whetstone this month:

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Spring Lake )
littlereview: (photos)
Autobiography of Eve )

It rained all day Thursday so I didn't walk as much as I should have -- meaning 3+ hours -- so my back is in a lot of pain and I am very cranky. Most of the excitement of my day was stupid home projects following a trip to Michael's and The Container Store (plus a stop at Pier 1 which didn't have what I wanted and Bagel City since it was right nearby). Plus I did laundry, which was actually a pleasure as it involved walking up and down the stairs.

We had garlic couscous chicken for dinner, but didn't watch Blindspot because we're two weeks behind, though I see it's been picked up for a third season so we'll need to catch up on that. Instead we watched this week's episode of The Handmaid's Tale, which was great and distressing as they all are, then the end of the ninth season of Bones. Here are some photos from yesterday of Emmitsburg's National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes at Mount St. Mary's:

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Grotto and Gardens )
littlereview: (jewitch)
The Grotto )

Wednesday was just as gorgeous out as Tuesday -- partially overcast, not too warm -- so after a morning of yelling at Verizon because our FIOS was down yet again, we went to meet Paul's parents at Emmitsburg's Mason-Dixon Welcome Center, which in addition to a picnic area and visitor center has a wetland with a beaver dam (and beavers!), frogs, green herons, and red-winged blackbirds. After walking around there for a bit, we went to the Grotto of Lourdes, the national shrine at Mount St. Mary's built over the spring where Mother Elizabeth Seton used to teach children.

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Emmitsburg Sights )


After his parents headed home, Paul and I stopped at the Emmitsburg Antique Mall (not long before it closed, so I didn't have time to do too much damage, though I did find a glass witch ball for $8). When we came home, we had bangers and mash for dinner and fed our starving cats. We've just watched The 100 as it heads into the season break, and though I will be okay if they kill off Marcus and Abby both, I will be very upset if they kill one or the other. Plus we watched Designated Survivor, which had better keep Hannah and give us more Kimball if they want me back next season!
littlereview: (photos)
Ribbon Snake Asleep In The Sun )

We had another gorgeous day on Tuesday, so after a morning of rearranging stuff, we had an early lunch and went to Brookside Gardens. There are still some azaleas, though the tulips have given way for irises and the first roses, and half of the conservatory is closed to set up for the butterfly exhibit, but there are at least two families of goslings and we also saw a Baltimore oriole, two green herons, three snakes, three snapping turtles, several red-winged blackbirds, lots of frogs and painted turtles, and many fish:

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Full Spring )


We stopped at Mom's Organic Market and Giant on the way home for necessities for us and the cats, had homemade veggie beef & peppers and chick'n satay, then watched the Tuesday lineup: The Flash, where everyone has taken a stupid pill so ugh Iris get on a bus out of town already, then Genius, where it's not fair to hold actual history against anyone is it, and finally Agents of SHIELD, where I have no idea why I'm still watching because Fatal Attraction was sexist enough the first time around. Now, yay, the Colbert Reunion!
littlereview: (get critical)
Should Lanterns Shine )

It has been gorgeous and cool here the past few days, and we got plenty of rain, so since we had heard that the Potomac River at Great Falls was cresting pretty impressively, we decided to eat lunch early and go see. Since the bridges to Olmsted Island are closed in Maryland, we went to the Virginia side, where we also walked through the ruins of Matildaville and the Patowmack Canal. The water was indeed high, even in the woods waterfalls, and we saw flying vultures and mating skinks:

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High Water )


I did a bunch of mostly fun chores, from cleaning fallen petals off the deck to putting laundry away to setting up a little tabletop fountain to hanging up my new lantern. In the evening we watched Supergirl, which had too little actual Kara though I'm glad they gave James his own story, and the season finale of Billions, where sadly no one but Chuck's dad got what they deserved; I like Taylor so I was hoping they'd get fired or at least choose to run far away!
littlereview: (get critical)
The Drunken Boat )

I had very lovely, very full Sunday starting with brunch downtown with my parents plus my father's brother Mickey and his wife Lesley, who were in town because she had a work conference. We ate at Juniper in the Fairmont and my eggs benedict were delicious. Afterward, we sat in the beautiful lobby and caught up until they had to leave for their plane, at which point we went with my parents to the National Gallery of Art, where I asked to see the Bazille exhibit in the East Wing. The early Impressionist paintings are lovely and it's fascinating to see the contortions of the curators not to address the obvious homoerotic images in the paintings. We also got to see Hahn/Cock, the giant blue rooster on the roof, and the newly renovated Rothko gallery along with Barnett Newman's Stations of the Cross series.

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Sunday Downtown )


Late in the afternoon, Paul and I did a bunch of fun shopping: Pier 1, which was having a sale on their outdoor lighting so I got a Moroccan lantern for $16, then REI, where I got the hiking boots I have long wanted, and since we were in Rockville, we went to the Big Greek Cafe which recently opened as an offshoot of the one near Olney. Then we came home for the Once Upon a Time musical, which I loved except that I was hoping Emma would come to her senses and NOT marry Hook (the best part was Josh and Ginnifer singing to each other as husband and wife, plus everything Regina and Zelena do). Sadly, Madam Secretary was not a musical, but it was still good, as was Elementary, and we just finished this week's awesome John Oliver rant about saving net neutrality!
littlereview: (photos)
Kentucky Derby )

Our plan for Saturday was to meet up with Annmarie and go to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival where we would meet up with Karen, Heather, and a bunch of other people, then go to dinner and to see Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2, but my back was aching so much in the morning that I knew I would never tolerate the hour-plus drive there from our house. Since Annmarie wasn't feeling up to the drive either, we met her instead at Frying Pan Farm Park, where we mostly had the place to ourselves because it rained all afternoon, then went to have Middle Eastern food at the Sorrento Grill. The baby pigs and goats were mostly indoors but the rest of the animals didn't seem to mind the rain:

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At the Farm Park )


We stopped to pick up mint and simple syrup on the way home to make mint juleps for the Kentucky Derby (mine was virgin since I'm taking meds for my back). I had no opinion about which horse should win other than I always hope it's not one being doped, but I will never forget Thunder Snow taking one look at the mud and trying to buck off his rider instead of racing in it. We had veggie hot brown for dinner in honor of the Derby, then watched Doctor Who (not a great story but I love Bill and the Doctor's dynamic), Class (stop it with the daddy issues already), and Graham Norton because Goldie, Amy, Orlando, and John trump Chris Pine, though now that Graham is over we have him on being sexually harrassed.
littlereview: (trek)
All Nature Has A Feeling )

Because I still can't sit and the steroids are making me hyper -- and because it's May now -- Paul and I went to Lake Whetstone after lunch to see whether the goose eggs had hatched. They have, and we saw at least 34 goslings (we lost count!) plus a lot of older geese, turtles, red-winged blackbirds, songbirds, and at least one heron. In our own neighborhood we saw a frog in the neighbor's front yard fish point and a bunny lounging on a hillside, so it was a very animal-happy day to be out walking. I took lots of photos but tonight I'm sharing lots of baby geese!

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Lake Whetstone )


We came home to feed the cats and wash up, then had dinner with my parents, where we Skyped with Daniel since he got off work early -- his entire division at work was taken to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, then sent home early, so nice start to his weekend -- and I ate compulsively, which I'm told is also a side effect of this medication. Still not sure my back will let me see the movie this month since I can't sit! We just spent the evening with me standing while watching The Shawshank Redemption, which we had actually never seen, and it's as great as its reputation.
littlereview: (green little review)
Cancer Winter )

I spent most of Thursday on my feet, which is a good thing -- my feet are sore but my back is less so. My primary care doctor said that my MRI didn't show anything very scary -- several bulging discs but nothing seriously herniated, though she wants me to see an orthopedist so he can look at the scans since it isn't her specialty; she suggested a week of steroids since that sometimes makes swelling go down and knocks out the pain, thus avoiding more invasive injections, and she also suggested physical therapy to stop the pain from returning. So I am working on more appointments (and have switched to Walgreens from the local CVS, my pharmacy for over 20 years, since they claimed they couldn't find me in the system, said the doctor never sent the prescription although she sent me a copy of it and why would she have bothered if she'd never sent the original, and laughed at me when I asked them to please double check).

Paul and I went shopping earlier in the day -- a trip to Michael's which had frames on sale (for one day, for 15% on top of a 40% markdown), across Rockville Pike to a fitness store to see whether they had treadmill desks (online prices are better though we have to see about shipping), to the park for a walk (caught another Onix so I now have a Steelix!), and to Giant and the aforementioned CVS (at least I have spicy cheese). Then we went to Union Jack's to meet Kay and her husband and younger son for dinner (their Lady Jane salad, with pistachios, cranberries, grapes, and vinaigrette, is wonderful). After we ate, we walked around Washingtonian Lake, which was good for all our backs. When we got home, we watched this week's episode of The Handmaid's Tale. I had no time to crop new photos so here are some Brookside butterflies from last year, since they're now getting ready for this year's!


Wings of Fancy )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Ode to an Encyclopedia )

My Wednesday was all about trying to make my back feel better. The centerpiece was having an MRI at the fabulous Washington Open MRI, where instead of being trapped in a coffin scanner I was sitting in what was essentially a tight chair watching Mamma Mia (by far the best choice of the DVDs they had available though I was warned not to nod along with the music). I have a CD but the information is meaningless to me and my doctor has not yet called me back to interpret it, and when I looked at the scans I was sure I had a massive abdominal tumor so I've decided not to try to figure it out myself. I bought a heating pad that belts around my waist and can also hold a cold pack, which helps!

Since Paul has a job offer on the table, we decided to go out to Minerva for Indian food for lunch, then we stopped at Mattie Stepanek Park because I could see on Pokemon Go that it has 1) sea monster play equipment and 2) Geodudes. I did more cleaning upstairs (more comfortable than sitting to clean though I can't deal with bending to vacuum) before dinner. We watched The 100, which is welcome to keep on killing half the cast but BETTER not separate Marcus and Abby, and Designated Survivor, whose conspiracy plot is crack, before Skyping Daniel since we hadn't talked to him face to face in weeks (poor Adam has the flu). Here are some expectant geese from Brookside Gardens:

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Protecting Eggs )

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