littlereview: (get critical)
Speaking Is )

My entire Tuesday was work and chores, none worth describing. The counters on one side of the kitchen are a lot neater, not that anyone who didn't live here would notice!

We had an Inspector Lewis evening again because apparently we are addicted. I need to find a cheap source of Inspector Morse! Some of the animals at Watkins Park's farm:


Domesticated Watkins )
littlereview: (green little review)
The Epistemology of Cheerios )

I spent non-work time Monday working on the dining room table and kitchen cabinets, both of which are still covered with stuff that has to be sorted before it can be restored/recycled/trashed. I did find a couple of treasures (kids' art projects, glass owl beads) but mostly I found broken crayons, bubble wands, souvenirs from birthday parties and other things no one will envy. (If anyone local needs alphabet magnets or plastic ice cream cups, let me know!)

It was quite hot and humid, though Tuesday is supposed to be worse (air quality warnings) so it was not a busy bunny day. We had leftover Indian food for dinner, watched the Masters of Sex we missed on Sunday (still not forgiven for the gorilla shark-jumping incident), then watched the Inspector Lewis where Hathaway is mostly absent while on holiday helping kids in Croatia (felt oddly unresolved, but had Taron Egerton, so no complaints). Amphibians from Watkins Park:


Frogs and Toads )
littlereview: (get critical)
Borderlands )

Sunday was as hot as Saturday -- August returning before it ends! We had a fairly quiet morning -- I had online arguments with representatives from both Verizon and Shutterfly over billing things -- then we went with my parents to the National Gallery of Art, where we saw the Gustave Caillebotte (wonderful Impressionist), Joachim Wtewael (hyperbolic Dutch), and Memory of Time (contemporary photography) exhibits. Then we went to Blaze Pizza, where we had birds visiting our table with hopeful expressions:


Art and Sparrows )


When we got home we watched a few minutes of preseason football, got bored, and watched the first sixth-season episode of Inspector Lewis -- I am trying to decide whether I want to catch up fully so we can watch the eighth season when it airs in October or whether I want to drag it out so it's not over! After that we watched the beginning of the second season of Vicious on PBS, which was utterly hilarious except that we're getting it bleeped (we watched British recordings first season, so no censorship).
littlereview: (green little review)
Optimism )

It was a gorgeous night and morning, but the heat is back and apparently staying for the week. I spent the morning working on one more Shutterfly project -- I have a coupon for a free calendar and another for 50% off everything, so the 2016 family calendar is getting finished and printed early. Then Paul and I went to Watkins Park, since it has been a few years and the park has a farm, a nature center, and a wetlands trail (as well as miniature golf, a train, a carousel, and a Wizard of Oz-themed playground). Here are some of the animals we saw on the farm and at the nature center, which also included many wild frogs and toads:


Watkins Regional Park )


The reason we picked Watkins Park, besides liking it and not having been there for a while, is that Adam forgot to pack his bike helmet and phone charger, so we needed to drop them off in College Park, which is in the same county. He had to work in the afternoon, but we asked if he and Christine wanted to join us for dinner, and since they haven't started classes yet we all went to the same Indian restaurant where we ate with Paul's family when they were in the area. Then we came home, watched most of the horrible Ravens-Redskins game, and put on an Inspector Lewis which was less depressing despite the murders!
littlereview: (trek)
The Affair )

I spent a ridiculous amount of time on Friday working on a review of Star Trek: Voyager's "Elogium", which entailed, among other things, pulling out a VHS tape I hadn't looked at in nearly 20 years to see whether I had the original trailer recorded (I did) since only the newer, less prurient one is on YouTube. I should probably have spent more time on incisive feminist analysis of compulsory heterosexuality and Kes's decision not to have a child, but I was distracted by the glorious Janeway/Chakotay scenes.

Otherwise, it was a relatively uneventful day. Saw three bunnies while out walking, had dinner with my parents, talked briefly to Daniel who needed information for security clearance forms for work, talked briefly to Adam about the fact that there's a Target now in College Park. Now we are watching Inspector Lewis, our second fifth-season episode (previously it was one with lots of Ashley Madison scandal parallels, so very timely). Here is a bird washing in a puddle downtown near the Smithsonian:


Bird Bath )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Housesitting, Boston )

After a hectic morning getting ready, we took Adam to College Park to start his sophomore year at the University of Maryland. Though he entered as a freshman planning to double major in finance and accounting, his brother, his two roommates, and his girlfriend, who are all engineers, have expanded his interests, and he's now planning to earn a dual degree in finance and computer engineering. He is working this weekend at the freshman orientation program in the business school, so he got to move in with most of the first-years. Here are some of the move-in sights, including the student union Testudo, a Terps sombrero, and the bees in the School of Public Health garden plus a Terrapin Trail bunny:


Move-In )


As you can see, we had lunch with Adam in the student union, then he had training at the business school so we took the scenic walk through the woods to the Terrapin Trail Garage. We came home, finished up various work and chores, took a walk on which we saw six more bunnies, and had dinner with our relieved cats who had seen all the luggage in the morning and zoomed all over the house. I watched one of my favorite Voyager episodes from back in the day so I can review it -- nope, time has not killed it -- then we watched the Lewis Carroll episode of Inspector Lewis because the Orioles score was depressing and the 49ers weren't exciting us. The weather is gorgeous tonight, hoping it lasts this weekend!
littlereview: (get critical)
Flower Of Timid Hue )

The temperature barely hit 80 on Wednesday so it was a really gorgeous day to be out doing things! Adam had a bunch of chores, including stopping at my parents' because my mother got him new jeans, going to the bank to deposit his summer paychecks, and running into CVS with me. We also picked up Paul for lunch and went to Tara Thai so Adam could get pad see ew before going back to College Park for the semester on Thursday.

Since Adam and I both had laundry to sort and fold, we put on The Duchess to watch while we did that (good cast, pretty cinematography, Keira and Hayley, see poem above). Then we had dinner and watched Space Cowboys, which was chosen after a discussion of nearly every other movie we own, with Cheryl watching long distance, paused for a bit to Skype with Daniel when he got home. Riley's Lock herons and ducks:


Waterbirds )
littlereview: (photos)
The World Is Too Much With Us )

Adam got up early to go on a kayaking trip in Colonial Beach with Christine, so I got up and did chores, and had a relatively unexciting day apart from four neighborhood bunnies and working on various projects. Plus I got a present in the mail that I'd ordered for a friend, decided that I wanted to keep it, and ordered another! And I got to see Adams high school girlfriend Maddy briefly when she stopped by to pick up her brother's canteen.

When Adam and Christine got back from kayaking and a reportedly late excellent lunch at a French Thai restaurant in Virginia, they decided they wanted to watch Date Night, so we watched with them (I'd only seen it once and had forgotten that Mark Ruffalo was in it). The Orioles are having such a terrible month that I won't even talk about what happened afterward! Some Brookside Gardens barn swallows plus barn swallow babies:


Between Dives )
littlereview: (green little review)
August )

Monday was hot and I had a lot of stuff to get done, so I have little that's exciting to report. I did get to have lunch with Adam and go out for ice cream with him, but he was mostly busy reading in anticipation of returning to school in a couple of days. Also, I talked to the woman who is fostering the kittens Heather rescued, and they are doing really well -- she thinks they will be adoptable in a week or so!

Paul made veggie meat loaf for Adam for dinner. Then, after rolling our eyes at the Bengals' first quarter and much discussion about what we were in the mood for, we watched the John Hurt-Elijah Wood movie The Oxford Murders, which was not particularly well-scripted (forget the math gobbledygook, the women's roles are atrocious) but is at least well-acted. Some more things we saw at the county fair:


County Fair Fun )
littlereview: (get critical)
August Moonrise )

Sunday's weather was even more gorgeous than Saturday's -- we slept with the windows open and woke to temperatures in the 60s. We had a quiet morning, Paul made eggs and pancakes, then we picked up my parents and we went to the National Museum of American History, which recently opened an Innovation Wing with exhibits on American invention and enterprise. We also went to see several other displays, including one on science fiction and creativity.


American Innovation Plus )


My parents took us out to dinner at Eggspectation in Silver Spring (having had eggs for brunch, I had the baked brie and raspberry glaze, which was delicious). Then we took my parents home and watched The Talented Mr. Ripley, which I hadn't seen in a long time and son had never seen; I still find the ending problematic both from a character/logic perspective and because there's a homophobic tone that really bugs me, but it's well acted and filmed.
littlereview: (green little review)
Farther In Summer Than the Birds )

Saturday's weather was gorgeous. In the morning, Adam played tennis with my father while I worked on my Shutterfly project -- which is now finished pending approval by various relatives! Then we all had lunch and went to Huntley Meadows Park, which is quite wet this year but the water is in different places -- the part where the boardwalk starts has lots of water (and frogs, many snapping turtles, and at least one snakehead fish), while the part that used to be an open pond is now full of cattails. This may be the first time we've been there where we didn't see a single Canada goose, but we saw several great blue herons and an egret!


Huntley Animals )


Adam had a date with Christine, with whom he went to CPK and hung out for the evening, so Paul made us vegetarian Coquilles St. Jacques made of konjac with pecan wild rice. We watched the first episode of Blunt Talk, which was sadly too much Seth McFarlane overwhelming the Patrick Stewart but I'll give it one more chance. Then we watched an episode of Inspector Lewis, which is always great -- at least, an improvement over watching both the Orioles and Ravens lose. But in really good news, the female giant panda at the National Zoo gave birth to twins (and unlike last time that happened, both seem to be healthy)!
littlereview: (trek)
Manic Panic )

I spent Friday mostly working on a review of Voyager's much-better-than-I-had-remembered "Projections" and a Shutterfly book project. Adam went to power-wash my parents' deck and concrete, so he was out most of the afternoon. He came home briefly to clean up, then we all went to my parents' for dinner.

Since Adam had not seen Ruthless People and that's a movie we quote a lot (plus it was free On Demand), we watched that in the evening, missing most of the Orioles and Nationals blowing their games. Now the Rockies are blowing it! Some pics from the small mammal and bird houses at the National Zoo:


Around the National Zoo )
littlereview: (photos)
The Call of The Impossible )

We had flood warnings all day Thursday, but the rain didn't arrive until evening, accompanied by extremely loud thunder for a few minutes, which the cats did not appreciate at all. I had a bunch of work to get done, both Trek-related and personal stuff (I got a free coupon for a Shutterfly photo book and am trying to put one together before the coupon expires). Adam went to lunch with my mother; when he got back, we ran out to Target to get school supplies, then to pick up his bike, which is now repaired for school.

Since I needed to watch a Voyager episode, we had time in the evening to put on the R-words, whose backup quarterbacks looked much better than their starter. Now we're watching baseball, switching between the very delayed Orioles game against the Twins in rainy Baltimore and the Nationals in Colorado. Here are some photos of the chickens at the county fair in the less populated than usual poultry barn, since avian flu caused the fair to ban ducks and geese from the grounds and not all farmers decided to show their chickens:


Chicks Dig County Fairs )
littlereview: (photos)
Were They Hands Would They Flower )

Wednesday was low-key around here. Paul worked from home and worked on pizza dough at lunchtime so we could have homemade deep-dish veggie sausage pizza for dinner (it was awesome). Adam came home a bit after noon from his movie marathon and went to College Park to deal with payroll and textbook issues from the summer. I did some work and downloaded and configured some film editing software -- did I mention I got a webcam the other day, my first? -- and decided my desk lamp was boring and needed colorful beads hanging from it, which it has now.

Adam went to see his girlfriend after dinner since she just got back from the beach and he hasn't seen her in a couple of weeks. The rest of us along with Cheryl watched Casanova -- the one with Heath Ledger, not the one with David Tennant, since the former is Venetian, lighter, beautifully filmed and scored, full of actors I love, and, considering that it's ostensibly a movie about a notorious womanizer, quite feminist. Some more photos of things we did at the county fair, which had an illusionist, a rain garden, and a buzzsaw artist in addition to the animals, rides, and food:


Seen at the Fair )
littlereview: (green little review)
Vision )

My Tuesday was not as eventful as my Monday -- no illusionists, no hatching chicks, no evading church members handing out pamphlets about how I'm going to Hell (like that's news to anyone who knows me). Instead I had work and laundry and a stop at the food store before taking Adam to an overnight movie marathon of the sort he and his friends have whenever they're all home.

We did not have a movie marathon but we did watch Wonder Boys after dinner (yes, of course because of RDJ and Tobey Maguire, see going to Hell above). Not remotely my favorite Chabon story, though I've always thought Chabon pretty much sucks when it comes to female characters, anyway. Here are some of the animals from the county fair yesterday, including a rescued owl and bees:


Animals Around the Fair )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Within the Circuit of this Plodding Life )

Quickie, since after chores/work in the morning, we spent the entire afternoon at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, where we saw pig races, goat judging, chainsaw art, beekeeping, many domestic animals, kids on rides, and lots of swag tents (I wound up with reusable bags, a stainless steel water bottle, and a Sanders 2016 button). No ducks or geese were allowed because of the avian flu threat and there were fewer chickens than usual, but we saw lots of bunnies! Adam brought four friends, so we only saw them at the very beginning and end, and due to the heat we drank lots and lots of iced tea with our fried oreos!


Fun at the Fair )


We dropped off all of Adam's friends at their respective houses and came home for spaghetti, since we'd all mostly eaten junk food at the fair. Then we watched Lucy, which has an atrocious crack-tastic screenplay (sorry guys but having Morgan Freeman narrate scientific nonsense does not make it believable) and too much violence, but Scarlett Johansson plays the role with such conviction and kicks so much ass that I don't even care. (There is an argument about whether it passes the Bechdel Test but I think it's a clear win, particularly since her conversation with her mother is not about men and everyone calls their mother "Mom.")
littlereview: (photos)
The Butterfly's Assumption-Gown )

Sunday was nearly as hot as Saturday, so we got a slightly late start, especially since Adam went running with his friends again. When we were organized and had had lunch, we went to the Folger Shakespeare Library, which has an awesome exhibit called Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest For Longitude, with lots of items on loan from the maritime museum in Greenwich including John Harrison's original award-winning timepiece, the H4, plus replicas of his earlier efforts, and several of the chronometers that Captain Cook tested on his voyages.

Then we went to the National Zoo because we wanted to see Kandula, the young male elephant born at the zoo who will soon be sent to another zoo for breeding. There's a big Asian elephant herd at the zoo but the biggest surprise in their enclosure was a deer that apparently wandered in from Rock Creek Park -- there have been issues with deer wandering through other areas of the zoo, but I've never seen one in any of the big animal enclosures before. We also saw the lions -- the cubs are slowly departing for other zoos -- and lots of adorable mammals:


Zoo Fuzzies )


I only cropped a few photos because we all watched The Giver, which I knew wouldn't compare to the book but has a cast I like. It definitely oversimplifies the plot and therefore feels like a riff on movies like Equilibrium and Pleasantville instead of the great novel that was their inspiration, but I still enjoyed it. Afterward Adam went to bed and we watched Masters of Sex (which this season could be called Smart Women, Foolish Choices) and John Oliver's Last Week Tonight mega-church takedown and foundation of his new moneymaker, er, religion!
littlereview: (get critical)
The Frog Pool )

It was a very hot Saturday in DC and I had a lengthy war with Windows 10, which either downloaded an update that it choked on or ran into another incompatibility with Google Drive, which was what seemed to lock it up (it reversed the update and for a minute I was afraid it was putting the system back to Windows 7). That was no fun At All. I wish Windows 10 was more transparent about what's going wrong -- I can't even find much useful advice looking on Google for other people's issues.

Adam went running with friends and played tennis with my father in the morning. In the afternoon, he wanted to stop at Old Navy, so since we were in the mall anyway, we went to see The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which I enjoyed -- I don't have any deep attachment to the TV show, having seen very little of it, and the production values of the film are gorgeous, the women are tough and interesting, and if its retro vibe resists progressive casting, it's still a fun couple of hours.

We had a coupon for a free Blaze Pizza, so we went there for dinner. Then, in the evening -- please don't lose all respect for me -- we watched Tropic Thunder and I laughed my ass off through most of it (TOM CRUISE). Obviously it has huge issues with race (the characterization of Asian people even more than the blackface, which is played as straight-up parody of method acting) and let's not even talk about the absence of female characters, which may be a good thing.

Some of the animals we saw at Brookside Gardens when we took a walk outside the conservatory after going to Wings of Fancy last weekend:


Around the Pond )
littlereview: (trek)
Elegy with Apples... )

Even though I spent all morning working on a review of Voyager's "Initiations", a lot of my Friday felt like a Saturday, in part because Paul worked from home so we were chatting on and off throughout the morning and in part because Adam was here until he went out running with a friend around lunchtime. In the afternoon, we all went to Kohl's together to take advantage of their sale and coupons while our state is having its tax-free shopping week before school starts.

We had dinner with my parents, and when we came home, Adam insisted that we should watch Kung Fury, the Swedish martial arts comedy about "Kung Fuhrer" Hitler versus dinosaurs, Thor, and I can't even explain this movie just go to YouTube and watch it! Then we watched an episode of Inspector Lewis and now we're half-watching the Seahawks-Broncos game. Here are some of the butterflies we saw the weekend before last at Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens:


Wings and Green )
littlereview: (Default)
You Make Love Like the Last Snow Leopard )

Thursday was about chores and work and boring stuff, though also several baby bunnies and finally finishing resynchronizing Google Drive, which I'm going to have to do all over again when I eventually get one with a webcam and other newfangled devices (hundreds of thousands of freakin' files uploaded, people). Adam went out running and for food with a friend from high school who's also in college with him; the cats slept for hours, then woke up and wailed pathetically as soon as he got home to inform him that I had failed to feed them.

There is football back on television! Which I know I should not be pleased about (cheating, head injuries, domestic violence, etc. etc.), but I got excited when the Ravens showed up on my screen anyway. And they won! Even the other local R-words won. To be honest, though, we turned off the Baltimore game when most of the people we'd heard of went out at the half and put on Catch Me If You Can, which Adam hadn't seen and Paul and I barely remembered -- it was completely enjoyable. Some of the lions (dad and cubs, I think) at the Maryland Zoo:


Lions and...Lions )

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