A Louder Thing )

Most of my Monday involved laundry, dyeing my hair, and cleaning up from spring break, plus a project from an online group I'm in. It was a nice day until drizzle arrived in the afternoon, though it remained reasonably warm. I had plans to meet Angela and Carrie for dinner and wound up bringing Paul with me since he was bummed he never got his Silver Diner birthday coupon and that's where the gal's group ended up deciding to meet.

We got home for most of the Maryland women's game against UCLA, but the Terps lost in the final minute and that was so sad that I made Paul watch Closer, which I've meant to see for years but heard was depressing and required the right mood. It's free on Amazon Prime and well acted but definitely depressing and cynical. Now I'm watching infotainers try to deal with the Mueller Report, which is worse. From Longwood Gardens' Orchid Extravaganza:

Orchid Extravaganza )
Sunday was Paul's birthday, so we went along with Adam and my parents to meet Paul's parents at Simply Asia in Thurmont, where we had lots of excellent Chinese and Thai food. Then we skyped with Daniel, who had to work all weekend along with his team in Seattle to finish something that launches next week.

We had to get home relatively early in the afternoon because Adam's spring break was ending and he needed to get back to College Park, but since it was a gorgeous day, Paul and I then went to Cabin John Park to listen to the spring peepers and walk around Locust Grove before stopping to pick up birthday cake.

I missed most of this week's Supergirl, but we watched Billions and Madam Secretary around phone calls from Paul's brother and sandwiches for dinner (we were still full from lunch). CBS ran so late from March Madness that the latter only just ended. I'm rooting for UVA, so they'll probably lose!

2019-03-24 14.20.25
Birthday Afternoon )
Paul, Adam, and I spent a beautiful Saturday in the Brandywine Valley, where it was cool but sunny and surprisingly not crowded even though it was the last weekend of Longwood Gardens' orchid extravaganza. We went first to Winterthur, where we skipped the house tour in favor of lunch in the very good restaurant (salad bar with lots of excellent veggie and vegan options) and a walk through the extensive gardens -- the March Bank is only just starting to look fully blue, but there are lots of crocuses and snowdrops, some lenten roses and daffodils, and trees just starting to show buds.

From there we headed to Longwood, arriving just as Pokemon Community Day started so I went slowly walking out to the meadow catching Treeckos. There's not much blooming outside, just crocuses among the emerging tulip leaves, but it was a nice day to visit the tree houses, and the orchids in the conservatory are spectacular, plus there are daffodils, tulips, lilies and hundreds of other flowers. I suppose it's just as well we missed seeing the Maryland men getting knocked out of the NCAA tournament -- the women won! When we got home, we had sandwiches and watched Free Solo which Adam had not seen.

In the Brandywine )
Paul worked half a day on Friday so he could spend more time with Adam before the latter goes back for his last semester of college when spring break ends Sunday night. So we all had lunch together, then we went to Sugarloaf Mountain to hike to the top. This started out very nicely in cool, overcast weather, and it was only a bit misty when we reached the summit, but it started to rain as we started down the Giant Staircase of Doom and was pouring, cold rain mixed with sleet and snow, by the time we reached the car.

It rained the whole way home, then stopped just as we arrived, and the sun came out and briefly gave us a rainbow. We had dinner with my parents, who had an early birthday cake for Paul. Adam had plans with several high school friends who were also in the area; meanwhile, Paul and I watched Blindspot, then he watched some of the NCAA tournament while I participated in the Vudu Viewing Party for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which was fun though I did not win any autographed posters. From the mountain and after the rain:

Rainy Mountain )
The Master Plan )

Adam and Katherine drove here in the rain on Thursday morning and we celebrated Purim by getting bagels and hamantaschen at Bagel City. I had no idea that chocolate-dipped marzipan hamantaschen existed and now they are my favorite food, even more than chocolate-dipped macaroons. I may become addicted! After lunch, Katherine and I did a Tyranitar raid, then we came back here and watched Avengers: Infinity War because she hadn't seen it (after a few minutes of One Night With the King, which we thought we might watch for Purim but not even John Rhys-Davies made it tolerable).

Adam drove Katherine to meet her father near his office before dinner (shish taouk and saffron rice for Nowruz), during which time Maryland's basketball team survived the first round of their NCAA tournament draw. After dinner, we watched The Orville, which I enjoyed though it was a straight-up TNG ripoff with a side plot about yet another addiction problem plaguing Moclans. Then we watched some more basketball until we realized it was going to run into Colbert's hour, sigh. Here are some photos from Brookside Gardens last weekend when there was a lot more sunshine than we've had on this first day of spring:

Multicolored )
Eclipse )

Adam went to visit his girlfriend in Fredericksburg all day Wednesday, so I had a pretty normal, boring day of getting things done and enjoying the weather. Around lunchtime, I met people in the park for a raid and took a walk to see the hillside of crocuses; then, after a stop at CVS for shampoo on sale, I also took a walk around my neighborhood because there are daffodils blooming everywhere:

Paul made tzimmes (stewed potatoes, yams, butternut squash, carrots, and fruit) for Purim, plus we had hamantaschen from my parents while we watched Before We Go, which I saw was free on Vudu and had had on my list because of Chris Evans and Alice Eve (the best reasons to watch it as the screenplay is meh), then caught up on The Flash (once again the season is going on too long).

2019-03-20 19.21.16
Multicolored )
The Enkindled Spring )

I had a nice Tuesday afternoon with Adam, who worked all morning before deciding to take a break. We went to Yuan Fu Vegetarian for lunch, then took a walk at Great Falls, where it was sunny and cool though not so much so that we didn't see a couple of turtles, a heron, some ducks, and a great many vultures. There weren't a lot of people, though there was a lot of construction going on to repair the sides of the canal, and a bunch of kayakers arrived just as we were leaving. Our FIOS mostly behaved after I spent half the night on live chat getting them to reset my router.

2019-03-19 14.57.00
Pre-Equinox )

After dinner (vegetarian meatloaf and scalloped potatoes) we watched The Front Runner, which I felt weird about because it stars Hugh Jackman as the father of someone with whom I went to high school. The son is barely in the movie, which doesn't make Gary Hart sympathetic or likeable no matter what anyone thinks of how the press treated him. It's kinder to Lee Hart and to Donna Rice, who went through everything Monica Lewinsky did years earlier. The film is well-acted and interesting though very talky, but I'm not sure what it's trying to say about sex and politics.
My FIOS is flickering in and out and I'm trying to chat with Verizon while typing this, so I'll keep it quick. It was a quiet Monday anyway: Paul went to work, Adam went to his internship at NASA, and I went to do chores, plus a walk in the park since the threatened snow and wintry mix never arrived -- we barely even had drizzle. I did exciting things like laundry and trying to fix our #&$@ing cable. Also got a jury duty summons for right before Passover so hopefully if they put me on a jury it's a very short case!

Adam got home from NASA just in time for dinner, after which he watched the Black Lightning season finale with us (all CW shows should be short seasons) and this week's The Enemy Within, which was pretty good though this week's previews were very misleading. I am still trying to get my internet straightened out and any web page that loads as I scroll like Facebook and Flickr is being very difficult, so I shall just post some happy frisky spring peeper frogs and frog eggs from Huntley Meadows on Sunday:

Amphibious )
It was colder on Sunday than Saturday, but sunny and beautiful, so after a big Irish breakfast of soda bread, eggs, veggie sausage, and veggie "blood" pudding, we went with Adam to Huntley Meadows. We never made it there last year, so we hadn't seen all the new dams the beavers had built and the new patters in the wetlands. We didn't see beavers, just their work, though we did see geese, ducks, coots, cormorants, tadpoles, frogs, crows, an osprey, and a wide variety of turtles, plus lots of trees with buds.

Alexandria Spring )

My parents came over during the NCAA tournament selection show -- Go Terps, number 6 seed! -- to have pizza and to see Adam, who then went to hang out with a friend who's also at home. We watched this week's Supergirl (not my favorite Lex but not my least favorite either; not a good Kara or Alex episode sadly), Billions (hahahaha you people all deserve each other, especially Axe and Taylor), and Madam Secretary (if only things actually worked like that, though I'm fine with this show pretending that they do).
Quickie as Adam is here on spring break and we're all watching the Rolling Stones on public television (the Fonda Theatre concert where they did all of Sticky Fingers) because SNL is a rerun. He didn't get here till 7 p.m., so earlier Paul and I went to Brookside Gardens to see what was blooming. There were daffodils, lenten roses, crocuses, snowdrops, some just-planted annuals, orchids in the conservatory, plus there were at least 50 turtles in the lower ponds and some geese and a heron in the upper one near the tea house. We stopped at MOM's and Giant for human and cat food, and after son arrived, we watched Aquaman since he had not seen it (he had mocking comments to make throughout, but says he enjoyed it). Here are a few Brookside pics:

Spring in the Garden )
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