littlereview: (get critical)
Chloe's Birthday )

I am extremely overtired from being up extremely late because three teenage boys having a sleepover were extremely loud, so I am fuzzy on the details of my Monday. I did laundry, cleaned up various dishes, and spent a couple of hours working on a jewelry project. Adam and his friends eventually woke up and went out to lunch, came home for a bit, then went out in a different configuration to dinner; I took a walk, since the weather is still lovely though getting hotter, and saw deer and bunnies.

Cheryl was passing by on her way home from the Williamstown Theatre Festival, so I convinced her to get off the highway and come out for Chinese food with us. We had a wonderful dinner at Grand Fusion, then finished my chocolate cheesecake from the night before. She headed on home and Paul and I watched Endeavour, which I didn't realize ended its second season in a cliffhanger (a certain character better not die or I'm not coming back next season)! From Friday in College Park:


Five Testudos )
littlereview: (little review)
Fall Parties )

Sunday was Adam's 18th birthday, though we didn't see him until mid-afternoon since he was away most of the weekend on a kayaking trip with other kids from his college program. We had a quiet day otherwise with Daniel, taking him shopping, before we all went to retrieve Adam, who had a great time on the trip to Wye Island and is excited that he's doing another kayaking trip in August just before school starts.

Adam wanted to go to the Cheesecake Factory for his birthday (far more for dessert than dinner), so we picked up my parents and went to the one that opened this year in Montgomery Mall (I had eggs, as did Adam; we both had chocolate in our cheesecake, though he also had peanut butter in his). Then some of his friends came over for a frisbee and Super Smash Bros competition while Paul and I watched Masters of Sex.


Busy Birthday )
littlereview: (green little review)
Company )

Saturday was as beautiful as Thursday and Friday were -- a bit hotter, but partially overcast, with a nice breeze in the shade -- so after a quiet morning during which I got caught up with sorting photos, we went to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens for the Lotus and Water Lily Festival. The huge pink lotus flowers are in full bloom, and the park has an annual celebration incorporating both the local Asian and African-American communities who did cooking and gardening demonstrations, art and crafts, and dance and musical performances. We got to hear contemporary West African music by Sahel and to see paper lotus flowers being made, and we got to see herons, frogs, and turtles in among the spectacular flowers.


Lotus Festival )


We had ravioli with meatballs for dinner and were going to go driving with Daniel, maybe to get ice cream, afterward, but he was fried from all the sun we got at the gardens and in the adjacent wetlands along the Anacostia River. So instead we watched Jack Reacher, which was a decent action movie though not particularly great; I thought Tom Cruise was fine, though I didn't read the books (it didn't bother me that he's shorter than the character's supposed to be, I thought that made him more impressive as a loner in one-to-one combat), and there were some funny moments among the murder and mayhem, but the female characters were written weakly, some of the violence was just gross, and the car chases went on too long!
littlereview: (trek)
Scientific Method )

We spent the afternoon in College Park, where we dropped off Adam for a weekend trip and spent two hours walking around the campus before we picked up Daniel for the weekend. I have finally accomplished my goal of seeing all five publicly displayed Testudo statues! Then we had dinner with my parents and I posted a review of Deep Space Nine's excellent, controversial "In the Pale Moonlight".


Around Campus )


Now that the video is out, we're watching Noah, which Daniel hasn't seen. I understand why a wide range of people think this movie is crack, but some parts are too magnificent for me not to want to watch over and over. And I love that Aronofsky essentially gave Noah the Four Children for his kids -- Shem the wise child, Ham the wicked child, Ila the innocent child, and Japheth the child who does not know how to ask.
littlereview: (get critical)
Marrying Late )

Thursday arrived with the nicest weather we've had in weeks -- barely 80 degrees, low humidity, some high fluffy clouds -- so I didn't mind that I had to do various chores like exchange the king-size pillow covers I accidentally bought Wednesday instead of full-size pillow covers and get shampoo and conditioner. Then I got to take a walk, where I saw happily munching bunnies right near my house and an entire family of deer in the woods:


Stag, Doe, and Fawn )


Adam is going on an orientation kayaking trip with other University of Maryland honors students for the weekend, including a high school friend, so on Thursday he got together with a group to hang out (they had planned to make a movie together but I'm not sure if that happened). We had bean enchiladas for dinner, after which Adam went to pack and Paul and I watched Endeavour...I suppose we should watch some Inspector Morse now!
littlereview: (green little review)
L'Avenir est Quelque Chose )

I spent a lovely afternoon shopping with Adam for college stuff! We started at Target because only one of the local stores carries the underwear he likes. Then we went out to lunch at Yuan Fu, where he had hot and sour soup, I had curry dumplings, and we shared the veggie pineapple chicken and General Tso's chicken. After that, we headed to Congressional to get kitty litter at Petco, then across the parking lot to Bed, Bath & Beyond where we (and dozens if not hundreds of other recent high school graduates and their families) went to get dorm stuff.

We came away with linens, towels, pillows, laundry and bath stuff, and a serious credit card bill, and came home to start organizing them. I had intended to go for a walk, but I ended up spending an hour going through our old linens and drawers collecting stuff to donate to AmVets. For dinner we had the French onion soup and coq au vin that we'd intended to have on July 14th before the power went out, then we watched Extant, which still feels derivative but has several interesting women, at least. Spring amphibians at Meadowlark Gardens:


Tadpoles and Frogs )
littlereview: (jewitch)
The Poster Girl's Defence )

I spent a great deal of this rainy Tuesday cleaning things in the kitchen that had not been cleaned literally for years, so that I could then give a bunch of them away and rearrange what was left, a necessary step in the ongoing dining room table rehabilitation project. Adam went shopping with my mother and got stuck in atrocious traffic in Virginia, so he got home at the same time Paul did; we had leftover Chinese and Thai food from the night before for dinner.

Adam went out with friends while the rest of us watched the MLB All-Star Game, though we switched over to The Daily Show to see Hillary Clinton, who sounds more than ever like she's running for president. I am too pissed off at the internet to spend any more time on it -- the situation in the Middle East is bad enough without people posting false information. Here are pictures of the Korean Bell Garden at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, which I keep forgetting to post:


Jeju Dolhareubang )
littlereview: (jewitch)
To Amy Lowell )

Adam decided to bike to Sugarloaf Mountain on Monday, where he met a friend who had driven there and was therefore able to take him to get Gatorade and food. Meanwhile I was in the middle of work and laundry and stuff when our power went out, which I realize is becoming a Thing. We were going to have French onion soup for le 14 juillet, but since we couldn't cook it or get Gruyere out of the refrigerator, we ended up going out instead to Adam's favorite local Chinese restaurant...without Adam, since, as we were preparing to go out, he got a better offer from friends.

Instead we went ourselves to Grand Fusion, where we had veggie satay, then Thai basil tofu and orange tofu, all of which were excellent. We took our time eating since Pepco said the power would be on at 8 p.m. at the earliest, then called home at 7:45 to hear the sweet sound of our answering machine, meaning it was getting electricity. So we returned, and, since it was still Bastille Day, watched The Man in the Iron Mask with Cheryl via the internet (not a perfect adaptation but it has a great cast and some very fun scenes). Geese at Pennyfield Lock last month:


Goose Teenagers )
littlereview: (green little review)
Fuchsia )

We had a mostly lazy Sunday, though we did go to Cold Stone Creamery in Gaithersburg so Daniel could get some driving time in and so all of us could get ice cream. In the middle of the afternoon, Adam biked to a friend's house to watch the World Cup final with a bunch of friends, and the rest of us had chips and dip while watching it here. We were rooting for Argentina but not very invested in the outcome -- since Germany beat Argentina on our honeymoon, we figured maybe it would be good luck if it happened again!

We had feijoada for dinner in honor of Brazil (with fake pork and beef, of course), then took Daniel back to College Park, where we saw two bunnies in his apartment complex -- the ones in our neighborhood appeared to be hiding from the heat and then the evening thunderstorm that still has the Orioles game delayed. Adam made plans for a biking trip on Monday while Paul and I watched the season premiere of Masters of Sex, which is still excellent -- Allison Janney in particular. Just a few pics from my day:


Out With Kids )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Quickie, rushing because we were looking at the full moon at perigee! We had a full day -- chores in the morning, then we went to the National Colonial Farm in Piscataway Park in Accokeek, which was having a Celebrating the Potomac festival, this year commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 battles in the area by having Pride of Baltimore II visit at the dock overlooking Mount Vernon across the river. There were living history presenters exploring farm and slave life, and Ocean Quartet was playing music from the period!


Potomac River History )


We got home in time for the second half of the World Cup runner-up game, which was not fun to watch for anyone pulling for the host country or just likes balanced matches. Then we had sloppy joes and watched The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, which I did not love despite the nautical theme and the sea animals -- the characters were mostly one-note, especially the women (an ongoing problem in Wes Anderson movies), but it ended in time for us to see the Nationals beat the Phillies in extra innings!
littlereview: (trek)
Travel )

My Friday was fairly routine, though in a good way since I had the whole family in and out. Paul worked from home so we could pick up Daniel in the afternoon, though we had a brief panic when our internet yet again went out for twenty minutes. Adam went to a friend's house after lunch. I finished a review of Deep Space Nine's "Inquisition" -- well-acted, but not one of my favorites, since I will never warm to Section 31. I also and worked some more on the disastrous dining room table, though I didn't unearth any real treasures, just some old medical papers and sports programs.

We retrieved Daniel from work and went to pick up his laundry, spotting two bunnies near his apartment. Then we came home to get Adam and went to dinner at my parents' house, after which Adam went running with friends from school and then out to socialize. The rest of us watched the second episode of this season's Endeavour, then Secrets of Underground London -- I was mostly interested going in to see the abandoned Tube stations and the River Fleet, but the most amazing bits were the hiding places of British Museum treasures and Churchill's bunker. Some photos from near Carderock last month:


Along the Canal )
littlereview: (Default)
Suddenly )

My whole day was chores! I am attacking various things that need to be cleaned and organized and it is taking a ridiculously long time. (Today, for instance, I found the business section of the Hartford Courant from 1997 and neither Paul nor myself could fathom why we would have saved it.) I am finding lots of stuff to put on eBay or to give to AmVets or freecycle. If anyone is looking for particular Star Trek collectibles or would like random things like miniature Stargate and BSG posters, let me know. Anyone know what to do with an old Palm Zire? Meanwhile, Adam worked in the neighbor's yard when we weren't having a thunderstorm and got muddy.

It was a good day for cleaning because our cable was down for most of the afternoon -- both the TV and internet stopped working around lunchtime and didn't come back till the World Cup game was well underway (go Argentina -- the final will be a rerun of the one from our honeymoon in 1990 when Germany won while we were in Toronto). We watched the first episode of Extant, in which Halle Berry was good but a lot of the drama seems derivative of a bunch of sci-fi movies, then the season premiere of Endeavour, which was excellent (especially Roger Allam) except for all the dead bodies. Here are some photos from Great Falls on July 4th:


Great Fourth )
littlereview: (get critical)
Longing to Commodious )

My Tuesday was all about chores, some of which were completely absurd -- I went looking for a gold pen to finish a project I started literally ten years ago (which is probably when I bought the gold pen) and spent an hour testing about fifty pens that I had in various and holders, some of which I fear may date back to college. I was gifted some vintage Renfaire jewelry that I started sorting, which led to sorting Renfaire clothes, which led to sorting clothes in closets and collecting stuff to give away. Just wait till I get to the dining room table and see what I discover, and older son has been warned that if he wants a double bed in his room here, he has to help in the sorting-and-recycling process while he's at home.

Adam went to a friend's house to watch the German soccer team goal clinic, excuse me, the World Cup game against Brazil, which was so depressing that I turned it off (I was also hoping that my rooting for Brazil was somehow causing the problem and they'd come back if I looked away, but it didn't work out). We had a massive thunderstorm around dinnertime that rained out the Orioles-Nationals game, so instead we watched Pulp Fiction, which believe it or not I had never seen before. It's still too violent for my taste but at least now I know how all those one-liners sound in context! Here are some photos from three different fields from the Battle of Monocacy anniversary - artillery, cavalry, infantry:


Late in the War )
littlereview: (photos)
Operating Instructions )

I spent Monday with [personal profile] dementordelta, mostly watching movies. We were in the mood for Apollo 13 after watching Armageddon the night before, so we watched that (not an entirely accurate portrayal of the crisis but extremely well acted by a big cast of big names). Then we went to California Tortilla to get burritos for ourselves and Adam for lunch. After that, we watched The Efficiency Expert because she had never seen it and after having seen Noah, we figured we should watch the other Russell Crowe-Anthony Hopkins movie together; Russell is distinctly NOT the good guy and Hopkins is quietly charming.

Adam's girlfriend came over to say goodbye, as she is spending most of the summer visiting family in Greece, and [personal profile] dementordelta and I went for a walk to see the neighborhood bunnies and had chocolate pie. We watched a few more Shoujo Cosette episodes before she left, and Paul and I watched the terrible final episode of the monumentally disappointing second season of Beauty and the Beast after dinner. My parents will not agree, but I am delighted the Orioles beat the Nationals! The other day at the National Geographic Museum, we saw both a life-size and miniature sculpture of lions by Brad Oldham called Together:


Lion and Cub )
littlereview: (jewitch)
On Sunday we all went with [personal profile] dementordelta to meet [personal profile] wolfshark and [personal profile] gblvr for lunch at Noodles & Co., then downtown to the National Geographic Museum to see the Cosmos exhibit, which closed this weekend, and the Peruvian gold exhibit, which was wonderful. Then we came home for Peruvian food and watched Armageddon and a bunch of Shoujo Cosette episodes. More tomorrow!


Cosmos )
littlereview: (photos)
Rock Me to Sleep )

On Saturday after the World Cup the four of us went to Monocacy, which is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle there on several different farms and along the river. As is often the case with reenactments around here, there seemed to be more Confederate than Union reenactors, and since the events were taking place on national park land, no actual recreations of fighting were permitted, but we got to see cannons being fired, cavalry putting their horses through maneuvers, and infantry demonstrating how to load and fire muskets. (These pics are all of our family there -- will post more next week!)


Monocacy )


The Orioles had already lost the first game of their double-header against the Red Sox by the time we got home (they won the second, thankfully). Paul made (fake and real) chicken with the blueberries we picked last weekend. Then we watched The Wind Rises, which is beautifully animated and very engaging though I don't agree with the people who told me it was Miyazaki's best film; I like the fantasy elements and the allegory of most of his others, I wished there had been more to the female characters, and I had a hard time forgetting what this idealistic Harry Potter lookalike's planes were ultimately used for.
littlereview: (little review)
We didn't get home till late, so I will save the photos I took in the gorgeous weather at Great Falls on July 4th in the afternoon, and just post a few from after dinner -- when we went over to Adam's friend Maddy's house with the parents of a couple of other friends -- for what little fireworks are available in the area and for s'mores!


Independence Evening )
littlereview: (get critical)
Washington's Monument )

I got most of my Friday review written on Thursday, but our power has not been able to decide whether to stay on since the afternoon, when major storms came roaring through -- nothing like what North Carolina is going to get from the hurricane overnight, but enough to bring down trees and tear the roof off a building in College Park (it's a good thing we didn't plan to drive home on Route 1 after picking up Daniel for the long weekend, since it was closed for several hours from the debris). Yet though we learned from Adam while we were driving that our power was out at home, we were never caught in the worst of the rain and hail -- that all went west faster than we did.

Since we still had no power at 6 p.m., my parents invited us over for dinner (they brought in ethnic food we all like from the mall food court, so that was awesome). Then we came home to a house that had had power for two hours...and within five minutes, it went out again! We spent half an hour reading before it came on again, then we watched Transcendence, which I thought was better than its reviews -- well-acted (Depp extremely understated, Bettany and Hall are the memorable ones), spectacular visuals, though there are some big problems with the script that start right at the beginning. Just a couple of pics of flowers at Maymont -- Happy Independence Day!


Maymont Flowers )
littlereview: (Default)
One of the Dummies at Night )

We had a heat advisory and a thunderstorm warning for most of Wednesday, though I only saw really hard rain for a few minutes...which unfortunately were the few minutes I was driving on the highway home from Tara Thai with [personal profile] vertigo66! We had a nice lunch though, then I stopped at Kohl's to replace my walking sandals which I got there for around $25 and walked the heck out of for two summers; they had similar ones for a similar price, and I also got some clothes on insane sale with an extra 20% off coupon.

In the evening we were going to watch Transcendence now that it's available for purchase online, but Adam's ex-girlfriend came over to hang out with him, so we put off the movie and watched a couple of episodes of The Musketeers (which is so humorless even as it seems to be parodying things -- I want some fun!) and Teen Wolf (which seems like self-parody half the time, though that actually works pretty well). Here are some of Maymont's raptors from their regional wildlife park, all unreleasable due to injuries:


Maymont Raptors )
littlereview: (green little review)
Happy first anniversary (in anticipation of your thirty ninth) )

It was my 24th anniversary, not my first, but it was still a nice day -- fairly quiet early on, getting work done, then Adam went to a World Cup party that was doubling as a birthday party for a friend, and I went for a walk (it was over 90 degrees, even the bunnies were sprawled in the shade looking overheated), When Paul came home from work, we went to downtown Rockville for dinner and the end of the US-Belgium game, which was being broadcast on an oversize screen in the town square.

The rest of my day was an equal mix of food and sports -- the US losing the game, fantastic black pepper tofu and curry at Taste of Saigon, Nadal getting thumped out of Wimbledon by a kid the same age he was when he thumped Federer, ice cream, the Orioles and Nationals both beating teams they would have had no excuse for losing to. When we got home, we watched Winter's Tale, which I still like a lot even though it has flaws as an adaptation of the book on which it's based. A few pics:


Rockville Town Square )

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