littlereview: (jewitch)
Philadelphia Flowers )

We had lots of thunderstorms on Thursday that cooled things off somewhat, and Hillary Clinton is officially the nominee of the Democratic Party so I'm happy. It was not a very eventful day; Maddy stayed at the house where she's cat-sitting, then went to Ikea with Christine, while I did work and almost caught a Wartortle at the post office but he broke out of one Pokeball and two Great Balls, then ran away!

Maddy and Christine came back here for dinner (Paul made Philly cheesesteaks in honor of the DNC, plus hot fudge sundae cake) and we all watched A Little Chaos, all being fans of Rickman and Winslet and appreciating Versailles. Now we're watching the convention winding down and what a high note for a conclusion. From the Folger Shakespeare Library's America's Shakespeare exhibit:


Our Bard Too )
littlereview: (little review)
A Touch )

Guess what, it's still really hot here! And I did a lot of walking, because I found out about Pokevision, so when there was a Jigglypuff (finally!) or a Goldeen around the corner, I could rush out and get it. But otherwise it was an uneventful day. I wrote most of a Voyager review, I took Maddy to feed and play with the cats she's watching and played with them while she did various chores.

And I watched the Democratic National Convention and enjoyed pretty much every moment, from the Broadway singalong to Biden's speech to Kaine's speech to that fantastic introduction for Obama to Obama's speech (and he is still the greatest speaker in half a century, possibly an entire century though I've only heard JFK and FDR in recordings so I probably can't judge fairly).

So I'd call it a pretty good day, except older son discovered that he has bedbugs in his building (is it safe to bring his luggage in the house when he visits next month?). Speaking of houses, here are some of the Dream House installations in the Small Stories: At Home in a Dollhouse exhibit at the National Building Museum, in which artists were invited to build miniature rooms:


Dream Houses )
littlereview: (get critical)
Another Poem About Time and Metamorphosis )

It was nice and cool on Tuesday, by which I mean the thermometer remained under 100. Maddy was supposed to start cosmetology classes, but they had low enrollment due to people being on vacation and postponed the start. That was frustrating for her, though she is cat-sitting for friends this week so she has things to do. I watched the Voyager episode I'm reviewing this week, the very enjoyable "Worst Case Scenario" -- nostalgia!

I don't care what anyone thinks about Hillary Clinton, I absolutely loved watching a woman be nominated as the Democratic candidate for president, and I was glad they did the roll call and let Sanders speak. I wasn't going to watch Bill Clinton because, you know, Bill Clinton, but I did, and he still speaks very well, though he's no Michelle Obama. Some photos from the formal Glen Burnie Gardens at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley:


Shenandoah Gardens )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Calm Is All Nature As A Resting Wheel )

Quickie because it was 100 degrees today, I had to go out in it because I'd promised to take Maddy to Target (she wanted to stop at Sally's Beauty Supply nearby, so I got to stop in World Market and get tea before my July coupon expired), and I'm half-watching the post-Democratic convention coverage after watching Cory Booker, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth, Warren, and Bernie Sanders (who I thought gave by far the least interesting speech of the night, but he did what was so urgently needed and gave his supporters specific reasons to vote for Clinton, not just to vote against Trump.

My neighbor and cat-sitter Rose visited early in the evening when the convention coverage started, so I probably missed some celebrities, which is probably just as well. Now I have to go unfollow a bunch of people blathering about how their privilege allows them to vote for Trump by proxy, supporting an anti-vaxxer who'd leave California children with no water or power in a rush to turn off nuclear power plants). Here are some more photos from the National Building Museum's Icebergs exhibit, including the kakigori stand, the view from the top of the slide, and the pillars:


Indoor Icebergs )
littlereview: (green little review)
O Never Say That I Was False Of Heart )

I got to spend an awesome, very warm Sunday with Cheryl and Paul, who made lunch for us all before we went downtown (sans Maddy who wanted to sleep in), skirting Nationals traffic to go to the Folger Shakespeare Library for the last day of the America's Shakespeare exhibit, which includes Abigail Adams quoting the Bard in letters, artifacts from the lives of both Lincoln and his assassin, and clips from several movie and TV adaptations including the Hamlet performance on Gilligan's Island.

From there we went to the National Building Museum, which has a bunch of exhibits we wanted to see. The big one is Icebergs, which takes up the center atrium with a "glacial sea" filled with big artificial ice sculptures, some of which light up and some of which can be walked through or slid down. We ate Japanese kakigori and visited the big styrofoam playground, the new acquisitions and paper models, and Small Stories: At Home in a Dollhouse which has dollhouses from the V&A Museum illustrating how homes developed.


Icebergs, Buildings, Shakespeare )


We came home late in the afternoon and watched Chasing Liberty, the somewhat dated, fairly silly Roman Holiday remake about Mandy Moore as the President's daughter and Matthew Goode as her love interest. The dialogue is ridiculous but the actors are all cute and the scenery is nice. We chatted with Maddy who was working on her schedule, had bean burritos for dinner, took a brief walk to see bunnies, since we'd already seen two while leaving in the morning, then Cheryl went home and Paul and I watched some Bones.
littlereview: (jewitch)
Visiting Star )

We took Maddy up to Paul's parents with us on Saturday morning, where we brought sandwiches for lunch. Maddy wasn't feeling well after a sleepover party with friends the night before, so she and Cinda made a quick stop with me at the Wal-Mart around the corner looking for clothes to lounge around in while Clair and Paul did some work online. Then we all had dessert and Skyped with Daniel and Adam, plus David in one window and Lukas and Jamie who are visiting Molly's parents in New Mexico in the other.

We came back to Maryland a bit earlier than usual to meet up with Molly's best friend, her husband, and their son for dinner now that they're living in the area. We went to The Cheesecake Factory because once we told the son that there were pokespots in the mall, that was where he wanted to go! Maddy had had plans with friends in the evening but still wasn't feeling great, so we came home, she went to bed early, and Paul and I watched some sixth season Bones. Some light animals from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden last winter:


Light Animals )
littlereview: (trek)
Nature rarer uses yellow )

It was insanely hot and humid in DC on Friday and tempers were short...even on Facebook, where my one snide comment about Donald Trump's hypocrisy, claiming he was going to keep LGBTQ Americans safe from foreign ideologues, led to one blocking, two defriendings, and one tantrum. I stayed in the air conditioning and posted a review of Voyager's "Displaced", which thus far has generated no hate mail though it was a very negative review.

We had dinner with Maddy, Christine, and Adam's friend Maddy at my parents' house, since the girls had plans for a sleepover in the evening. We all Skyped Adam, who was exhausted after working all night on a final research project for his internship, then Maddy and Christine went to Maddy's house and Paul and I came home to watch some Bones and late night comedians to help us cope with the Republican convention. Great Falls summer animals (warning: snakes):


Great Falls Animals )
littlereview: (little review)
Identity Crisis )

I had a very busy Thursday but it was all good. I finished a whole bunch of work before lunch, then took Maddy to Hair Expressions to go over financial aid information with the Paul Mitchell school there, then we went to Ulta, Trader Joe's, and a bunch of other places. Our neighbor is looking for a house- and cat-sitter for when she's out of town, so we went out to dinner with her and her sons, one of whom was Adam's good friend in high school.

Maddy went back with our neighbor to see her house and cats, so Paul and I went for a walk to see bunnies, then came home and watched some Bones and some South Park because pretty much anything would be an improvement on watching Trumpfest 2016 -- I have movies about the rise of fascism if I'm in the mood for that, thanks, and South Park's critique is better than any news channel. From the C&O Canal earlier this summer:


Canal Color )
littlereview: (photos)
The Thousand Somethings of Someone )

Wednesday was younger son's 20th birthday, but since he's in Texas, it was a pretty sedate day around here. For most of the day, I worked on an article and a Shutterfly project that's on a coupon deadline. It wasn't terribly hot, so after a stop at the mall, Paul, Maddy, and I went for a walk in Cabin John Park. The Pokemon Go servers were down so I couldn't catch any Pokemon there but there were lots of squirrels and robins! Niece wanted to see Zodiac since she had only seen half of it before, and although serial killers are not my thing, I watched RDJ, Ruffalo, and Gyllenhaal and ignored the bloody stuff.

Here is something I never thought I'd be writing: I enjoyed Ted Cruz's speech. (Though when someone friends you on Facebook who's a professional astrologer/card reader, who is living below the poverty line and is angry that Hillary doesn't have a plan to take money from the oligarchs to give financial help to people like her... Would it be more insensitive to assume she needs help and suggest that she vote for Hillary so she gets her health care protected? Or would it be more insensitive to tell her that even Bernie and Jill think she should look for a job on THIS planet?) From Homestead Farm during blueberry season a few weeks ago:


Blueberry Afternoon )
littlereview: (little review)
The Retired Cat )

So yesterday I claimed it was Tuesday even though it was Monday -- an easy mistake this week when I just want Thursday to be over already. The actual Tuesday was uneventful anyway, at least until evening when we had an unexpected thunderstorm that caused several alerts plus a flash flood warning. Maddy was out with Christine and Adam's friend Maddy dyeing her hair, so we just had crazed cats trying to hide all over the house while we were trying to watch the Bones season five finale.

The rest of my day involved work, chores, dyeing my own hair (don't get excited, I was just covering the gray), and trying to decide whether to laugh or cry not just about Melania Trump plagiarizing Michelle Obama, which I might even have forgiven if she'd owned it because Michelle's was a really good speech, but the lies and excuses make me wonder how Donald dares to call Hillary dishonest. Since I've mostly been in Hartford on weekends, here are Skyline Drive photos from last winter:


Winter Skyline )
littlereview: (green little review)
Exquisite Candidate )

Tuesday started out miserably hot and sticky. Maddy had a meeting at the Paul Mitchell school where she is likely to enroll to get certified as a cosmetologist, so I took her there to meet with the administrators about financial aid, then we stopped in a couple of stores that have been advertising for help wanted and went to Fresh Market and Subway to get food. The sky was darkening when we got home, and then, while I was taking a walk, it opened up for an hour of very hard rain and some thunder.

Afterward it was thankfully much cooler, though still pretty humid. I took another walk (to look for a rainbow, though I saw bunnies instead) and did laundry. We turned off the terrible Orioles-Yankees game and never even considered the Republican convention -- there's not enough alcohol in the world, even playing a drinking game -- to watch Bones. Hopefully Jon Stewart will help me sit through Colbert's coverage because I really want no more Trump on TV ever. From Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens:


Lotus Garden Festival )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Of the Surface of Things )

We spent most of Sunday in Hanover with Paul's parents, driving up with Maddy and stopping to pick up pizza on the way. It was a pretty uneventful visit: we skyped with Daniel and Adam and with David's family, ate brownies, and looked through old photo albums (I'd forgotten that Clair spoke at a service with the King of Norway and that there were photos of the Andersons at Dinosaur Land 40 years ago).

We had a late dinner while watching Bones -- the 100th episode flashing back to their first case and the prom queen horror movie episode -- and Maddy and I did some research for classes she wants to take in the area. Fortunately we missed most of the disaster that was the Nationals' 18-inning loss to the Pirates. Daisy, Cinnamon, and this sleepy blub Effie all helped me put laundry away when we got home:

littlereview: (get critical)
After the Rain )

I had a quiet Saturday morning reading and uploading photos before going out in the afternoon to see Ghostbusters with Paul and Maddy plus Karen, Jim, Angela, Jack, and Lena. I was never obsessed with the first one, though I saw and enjoyed it several times, so I didn't go in with specific hopes or expectations and I really enjoyed the new one -- great cast, plenty of humor, nice girl power and female bonding though Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth really stole the show!

We all went to Tara Thai for dinner, then I stopped at Charming Charlie with Maddy because we hadn't had time to shop before the movie (plus I wanted to see the adolescent ducklings and goslings, not to mention the dozen or so Pokespots around Washingtonian Lake). We came home, watched some Bones (the one where Brennan realizes that Angela's sex advice makes her books sell), and Paul made brownies. Saturday was the actual date for Kenilworth Aquatic Garden's lotus festival:


Lotus Festival Garden )
littlereview: (trek)
Before the Rain )

It was incredibly hot again on Friday. I posted my review of Voyager's "Distant Origin" early so that after lunch we could go to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, which is having its Lotus and Lily Festival on Saturday when the park is expected to be very crowded so we figured we'd go when we could see it with far fewer people. Despite the heat, there was a nice breeze off the Anacostia River, the lotus blossoms were just coming into full bloom, and we saw herons and egrets in the marsh plus lots of evidence of beavers who caused the trees to be wrapped in mesh wire (and though we didn't see any beavers, we did see a groundhog who dove into a hole too quickly for me to photograph).


The Life Aquatic )


We went home via College Park to stop by the Alice in Wonderland exhibit at the University of Maryland's Hornbake Library so Maddy could see it, plus we showed her a bit of the campus. (I see why Pokemon Go is so wildly popular at colleges -- there were five pokespots within twenty steps of the library, plus half a dozen more between the parking lot and the main road through campus; the park had three Pokespots but I only saw three Pokemon in the time we were there!) We had dinner with my parents, tried to figure out what's going on in Turkey before concluding that no one is sure yet, watched the end of the Nationals game, and now we're watching the JFK episode of Bones.
littlereview: (green little review)
Cradle Song )

It was beastly hot on Thursday. I mostly did work and chores in the morning, then Christine came over to see me and Maddy. We watched Gone Girl while we ate crepes Paul made for lunch. Eventually Christine had to go to work and I took a walk to see bunnies and catch Pokemon, which was frustrating because I caught a Pikachu but my app crashed and when I restarted it, the Pikachu and pokeball were both gone.

Other than a trip out to Giant, I tried to stay in the air conditioning as much as possible. Now we're watching Spirited Away, which Maddy and I both love. It was a depressing evening reading about what's going on in Nice while eating ratatouille for dinner for Bastille Day, so I will keep this short. Here are some photos from Washingtonian Lake a few days ago when we stopped on the way back from Hanover for dinner and a bit of shopping:


Washingtonian Evening )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Housewarming )

Maddy had a friend come visit from Virginia in the morning and I spent the parts of my day when I wasn't working on a Voyager review or folding laundry driving them places -- to the mall, home from the mall, to the food store and back, and eventually to the Metro so that Ian could get home. He's lovely -- also new to the DC area, just out of high school, and they watched Ninth Doctor Doctor Who together, so I approve!

It was beastly hot (and predicted to be worse on Thursday) but we did take a walk during which we saw five bunnies including two babies, plus lots of rattatas and spearows who apparently live all over our neighborhood -- see cat situation below. I noticed that there were Pokestops at several places in Cabin John Park, though I didn't have time to stop there, so tomorrow maybe we can walk along the stream and see what there is to see.


Pokemon on Cats )
littlereview: (get critical)
All the Thoughts at a Football Game )

Two things went on during my Tuesday that made me happy, both of which got me vocally judged by certain people, which is irritating me. The first, and by far the more important, was that Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, thus guaranteeing that we won't have a Ralph Nader situation in 2016, and if you're one of the privileged brats who can afford to think Clinton=Trump and therefore you might as well vote for him or not vote, and/or if you're calling Sanders names that I won't repeat here to go with the barely veiled misogyny targeted at Clinton, you can f^$% right off. (Don't talk to me about Jill Stein; it is your right to throw your vote away, but I had to listen to pompous people run their mouths for eight years about how terrible George Bush was when they helped get him elected by pushing for Nader, and I'm not putting up with that again.)

The second thing was that I enjoyed finding Pokespots at my local pool, high school, and in the mall (3), for which I was snarked at by people who are infinitely more mature than me because apparently being rabid sports or Star Trek fans, for instance, is much more sophisticated. I have been aware of Pokemon for 20 years, ever since my older son's first neighborhood friend, the son of a Japanese diplomat named Hajime, had some Pokemon toys in his house back before anyone in the U.S. was talking about it. Later, we all watched the TV show, I saw several of the movies in the theater, and young people in my house played many iterations of the game on various consoles and handheld devices. So this has been a part of my life for longer than you've been rooting for the Washington Nationals or watching Bones, and if you find that annoying, you can f^$% right off too.

In most other ways, I had a good day. I took Maddy to CVS, then to Home Depot with me to pick up a kitchen light I'd paid for online, then we went to the mall for froyo and the aforementioned Pokespots. Eventually we came home for dinner, then Paul and I watched the baseball All Star Game, and now Maddy and I are watching Nicholas Hoult bragging to Stephen Colbert about how he caught a Spearow while in his car. (Maddy thinks he's adorable; he's much too young for me, but I do appreciate him as an actor.) Photos below involve Pokemon Go, including Koffing and Rattata interacting with family members, so if that will deeply offend your sensibilities, don't click! I have had the magnet in the last photo for a decade and a half:


Gotta Catch 'Em All )
littlereview: (green little review)
Avoid Adapting Other People's Negative Views )

On Monday I got to meet Mary Wiecek, whom I've known for 20 years yet had never seen face to face before! She was in the area visiting family, so we met at Tara Thai in the mall, then went to Great Falls to enjoy the nice weather and the geese, herons, and turtles (plus a frog who chose to be heard rather than seen) and to catch up on all the things we haven't discussed in decades of mailing lists and Facebook posts! She also got to witness my excitement when I found Pokespots in the mall and caught an Ekans (something I knew she would understand since we both play Neko Atsume and have kids who grew up in the gaming generation).


Around the Falls )


After Mary went back to her family, I picked up Maddy and we did a bunch of chores on Rockville Pike, starting at Target, where the big candy boxes were on sale 5 for $5 which we figured we might need for a movie night and where she bought a coffee maker. We also went to 7-Eleven, which she had discovered because of the date was giving away free Slurpees. We had Moroccan (fake) chicken for dinner, watched some of the Home Run Derby, and watched some Elvis before niece went to work on job applications and Paul and I watched some more Bones. Should I worry if Rattatas seem to be gathering in my living room?
littlereview: (green little review)
Somewhere, Someday )

I put those lyrics there because I associate them with Pokemon -- N'Sync's cover of the song is on the first Pokemon movie album -- but even more, I associate them with Star Trek: Voyager for reasons that some of you will recognize instantly and some of you never will. I kept seeing people in the neighborhood walking by playing Pokemon Go, and since son and I had had a conversation the day before about how he didn't think he'd find as many Pokespots near our house as his lab group at Texas State has been finding on campus, I downloaded the game and walked in a circle around the nearest cul-de-sac, during which time I caught two Pidgeys and two Rattatas to go with my initial Squirtle. I also caught -- well, saw -- a medium-sized bunny (see below).


Munching Rabbit )


The rest of my Sunday was entirely about cleaning and watching sports in the background -- first the Wimbledon men's final, then the mixed doubles, then the Euro 2016 soccer final, then the end of the Orioles game. In between I did a lot of reshelving, sorting, discarding, and cleaning in the kitchen and dining room. We'd had plans to go see the Wonder exhibit at the Renwick before it closed, but as happened every other time we've set out to go see the exhibit, something else intervened, so I'm going to assume the exhibit would have collapsed on my head or something if I went and I was meant not to see it. We have put out piles and piles of food magazines for recycling and now we're watching the Stephen Fry chef Bones episode.

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