littlereview: (get critical)
The Wind Sleepers )

Cheryl and I decided that we really needed to see The Water Diviner together on the big screen, so I made her come visit on Monday and we had a perfectly wonderful self-indulgent day. We went to the mall and had Indian food, then went to the movie at the new Arclight theaters which I hadn't been to yet (they are beautiful and I love the ability to reserve seats). The movie is beautifully filmed and acted, very sad in parts but not depressing, perhaps a bit predictable in the structuring of the screenplay, but considering how little Americans know about Gallipoli I don't think that was a bad choice (and the "where is the Armenian genocide?" complaints are like complaining that there's no mention of incarcerated Japanese-Americans in movies about D-Day; The Water Diviner is about how people do terrible things during wartime, it doesn't have time to cover all the terrible things that happened during the war). It's one of my favorite Crowe performances. I wish the female characters were better fleshed out but I like Kurylenko too.

When we left the movie we thought about getting frozen yogurt, then decided we'd rather have chocolate malteds, so we went to Baskin Robbins. Back at my house, we watched a movie called Butter because Hugh Jackman was in it, which I must advise Hugh Jackman fans is not a good enough reason to watch it (I mean, his is one of the less embarrassing performances and he only had a couple of completely cringe-worthy lines that were supposed to be parodies of racism/sexism but instead came off as racist/sexist and I even felt sorry for right-wing Republicans being badly mocked by this film, but he isn't in the movie for nearly long enough to make up for the awful script). We took a quick walk to see bunnies and found a baby bunny on my cul-de-sac I hadn't even known was there before, then we came back and watched Sharpe's Justice. Paul and I spent the evening catching up on The Flash and Once Upon a Time after looking for more bunnies. Here are some of the tulips we saw with Annmarie by the Smithsonian on Sunday:

DC Flowerbeds )
littlereview: (get critical)
The Echoing Green )

Quickie because we spent all afternoon downtown with the lovely Annmarie on a lovely day with lovely flowers all around and inside the National Mall! We met at the Museum of Natural History, where we went to see the orchid exhibit, then we walked all around the green between the museums (currently torn up in the first stage of renovations) to the gardens behind the Smithsonian Castle and next to the US Botanic Garden, which we also visited briefly. After that we crossed in front of the Capitol (whose dome is under construction as well) to visit the National Gallery of Art, where we saw the Rubens Magi, the Piero di Cosimo exhibit, and the Corcoran highlights now on display there.

Sunday Downtown )

We were all a bit fried from our exertions the day before (we merely schlepped around Richmond in the rain, but Annmarie participated in an after-dark 5k), so we came home for dinner. Then we watched Madam Secretary, which is so much better than Once Upon a Time that the latter has been consigned to On Demand viewing, and caught up on Outlander, which I am still not liking nearly as much as the first half-season (yes, it was a violent age, but the maimed and bloody skin porn is nauseating). The Nationals did not have a good day, but the Orioles beat the Red Sox 18-7 and the Wizards swept the Raptors to advance in the NBA playoffs, so it must be considered a good sports day.
littlereview: (photos)
April Rain Song )

We have been in Richmond all day! We went to the VMFA with Cheryl to see Van Gogh, Manet, and Matisse: The Art of the Flower, a history of 19th century French still life floral painting, not knowing that it was Springtime in Paris day with lots of floral-related activity for kids plus puppets, jugglers, and other entertainments. After eating lunch in the restaurant there (coconut ginger soup FTW), we went to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where we went to see the Butterflies Live in the conservatory, then had a lovely but very damp walk among the rainy tulips, azaleas, dogwoods, and many other flowers, plus the occasional heron and turtle! We had intended to go to Maymont to see the Japanese garden there, but it was raining so hard when we arrived that we only walked around the upper formal garden, which also has many flowers (plus we got to see another heron down in the lower garden from the overlook).

Richmond in Spring )

We had a minor crisis because our car's tire pressure light came on, but putting some air in seemed to take care of the problem, so we had dinner with Cheryl at Mexico Restaurant before driving home in rain and fog. We saw the very bizarre end of the Orioles game, which they ultimately won, though the mayor of Baltimore had asked that everyone remain in the stadium during the final innings because the protests against the police outside were threatening to turn into a riot, and it really looked for a few minutes like the O's had deliberately blown a couple of plays to tie the game in the 9th so that fans would stay in their seats. Baltimore is still looking scary tonight, but of course nothing is as awful as the photos coming out of Kathmandu (and how typical of the U.S. news that most of the focus is on Americans who died in the avalanche on Everest rather than the thousands of Nepalis who died). Hopefully tomorrow there will be better news.
littlereview: (trek)
Trans- )

It was cool but gorgeous again on Friday. I spent the morning working on a review of "Time and Again", definitely not one of Voyager's best installments but it has its moments, plus I took a break to watch The View so I could see Russell Crowe flirting with Whoopi Goldberg (I mean, technically talking about The Water Diviner, but at this point he's repeating himself a bit because the questions are getting redundant and in some cases irrelevant to the movie). [profile] apaulled worked from home and in the late afternoon we took a walk, where we saw lots of crabapple blossoms and two bunnies.

We had dinner with my parents at Ted's 355 Diner (I had a feta cheese omelet and a chocolate milkshake, which is pretty much the perfect meal, especially with home fries). Afterward we came home, watched the Elementary we missed on Thursday when Dig was on, watched most of the Bruce Jenner interview (more impressive than I was expecting -- even the Kardashians were more impressive than I was expecting, though in fairness I've never watched them before and I avoid articles about them), and watched Russell Crowe on Charlie Rose. Flowers this month at Longwood Gardens:

Flowers at Longwood )
littlereview: (jewitch)
The Steps of Montmartre )

I forgot to post any poetry for Shakespeare's birthday, St. George's Day, or Yom Ha'atzmaut, so I'm just sticking with Montmartre themes to go with the photos. Thursday here was cool but lovely, overcast but with so many pink and yellow trees in the neighborhood that it looked beautiful anyway. My mother invited me out to lunch and since Kay and I had to postpone because of Take Your Child To Work Day -- her son wanted to go to work -- I went with my mother to Mykonos, where we had terrific spanakopita, grape leaves, and stuffed mushrooms. Then we did a bit of shop-browsing (meaning that apart from an entirely gratuitous $9 crystal wind chime, the most exciting thing I bought was shampoo).

My family has discovered to our horror that Verizon does not get the CW On Demand, meaning that we can't watch The Flash episode we missed this week without sitting around a computer, woe! I showed Paul The Tonight Show from last night so he could hear Russell and Jimmy sing "Balls In Your Mouth," then we watched Dig (the Jesus Clones are MEAN! And I can't believe I'm more worried about the cow than half the people). Here are some photos of Paris's Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, which does not allow photos in the sanctuary but does in the crypt (sorry about St. Denis always missing his head, that happened on the hill of Montmartre where the basilica now stands), and the path to the cemetery far below.

Sacred In Montmartre )
littlereview: (photos)
Soir de Montmartre )

Wednesday was a beautiful day until the cold front blew through, bringing first high winds, then rain, then much cooler temperatures which made for a lovely evening before it got so chilly we had to close the windows. I didn't do much for Earth Day besides the usual (turn off lights and check faucets, sign state environmental petitions, avoid eating meat), but I definitely appreciated the beauty of this planet in our neighborhood of pink and white and purple flowers.

Now I'm totally distracted by Russell Crowe on The Tonight Show, before which we caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (I've been so bored this season with all the generic new characters that I was actually excited to see Ward) and watched this week's Nashville (stop bitching and form a sisterhood, young women, and just give him a piece of your liver already, Maddie). Here are some photos from around Montmartre in Paris, both the sublime and the profane:

Wandering In Montmartre )
littlereview: (get critical)
The Blank of America )

Quickie, as we have had company -- the lovely Angela and Kevin -- to watch Birdman. We were weeks overdue for a movie night and they hadn't seen the Oscar winner, which holds up very well -- I still have a bunch of issues with the award-winning screenplay, particularly where female characters are concerned, but the directing remains exceptional and the editing almost beyond belief.

The only other news here anyway was continued gorgeous weather, which has brought out dogwoods, apple blossoms, violets, tulips, and the first pink azaleas, plus three bunnies and many squirrels and singing birds. We caught most of Forever, which is breaking my heart since next week's season finale will almost certainly be the end of the series. Flowers in Winterthur's enchanted woods:

Early Spring in Delaware )
littlereview: (get critical)
What to Do With a Dinosaur )

We started Monday with flood warnings, spent lunchtime with tornado warnings, and ended the day with thunderstorm warnings, but although we got some hard rain and a few minutes of lightning and thunder, thankfully the funnel clouds and hail never materialized. Still, we stayed close to home. Paul worked here because Comcast was coming to pick up the equipment we were returning since we now have Verizon, and having heard bad stories about them, he wanted to be here to see it done, and I had a bunch of work and the twice-yearly closet rearranging needed to get to my spring clothes plus a bit of skirt hem repair.

When we went for a walk, we saw three bunnies who were not in the least concerned about the previous or coming storm, though the squirrels and wrens were quite active. Paul, who grew up in Boston, decided that we should celebrate Patriot's Day properly, so he made Boston baked beans, (faux) beef stew, and Boston brown bread for dinner. Meanwhile, I watched the Jurassic World trailer enough times to convince Paul and Cheryl that we needed to watch The Lost World (we saw Jurassic Park a couple of weeks ago and plan to get to Jurassic Park III before the new movie. Riverbend bluebells:

Bluebells in Bloom )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Song — My Bonie Bell )

My Sunday did not start auspiciously -- I went to bed a couple of hours before Target's Lilly Pulitzer launch went live online, and left the house just as the stores were opening, meaning that since everything sold out in about seven minutes in both places, I didn't get the undersea bracelet or the giraffe print scarf or even the purple fan cosmetic bag -- but since we were already up and out, we went to see the fading cherry blossoms in Kenwood and things only improved from there. After seeing many flowering trees and tulips, we came home, woke Daniel, ate lunch, and went to College Park, where we dropped him off and went to see Adam inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta & Phi Eta Sigma honor societies. Both of his roommates and several of his high school friends were invited as well.

Primannum Induction )

As you can see, there were cherry blossoms and tulips in bloom on the campus too, and it was a nice ceremony (by which I mean only an hour despite all the honorees introducing themselves). After the ceremony, we retrieved Daniel and took them both plus Adam's girlfriend food shopping and out to dinner at the Plato Diner, where we all ate a great deal. After taking them back to their respective residences on campus, we came home to feed our starving cats, watch Once Upon a Time (oh come on, writers, you can do better than this) and Saturday night's Outlander (that's two weeks in a row it can't even pass the Bechdel test -- is rewatching Voyager spoiling me?), and feed our cats who had been left to languish for over five hours with no belly-rubbing.
littlereview: (photos)
These I, Singing in Spring )

The weather on Saturday was insanely beautiful -- too beautiful to stay in the car though we wanted Daniel to get lots of driving hours in -- so we went all over Fairfax County to see spring in northern Virginia. We started at Riverbend Park, which is famous for its bluebells, currently spread for more than half a mile through the woods along the Potomac River (there are also cormorants, frogs, herons, and a nature center with snakes and bunnies). Then we went to Kidwell Farm at Frying Pan Farm Park, which has three families of piglets plus lambs, baby goats, calves, and lots of other animals. Finally we went to Meadowlark Gardens, where we got to see cherry blossoms, tulips, geese, turtles, and more!

Virginia Spring )

We came home for dinner to mostly good sports news -- the Nationals lost to the Phillies but the Orioles beat the Red Sox, the Wizards won their first playoff game against Toronto in overtime, and the Caps are tied with the Islanders in the NHL playoffs which it was pointed out to me have started. We did not watch much baseball, however, as we were waiting for the season premiere of Orphan Black, which did not disappoint (I was a bit afraid there would be a focus shift onto male clones, but it's still all about the sisters, though some of the sexual situations still make me extremely uncomfortable). Now we're watching Graham Norton (yay Kim Cattrall); tomorrow we get to see Adam get inducted into an honor society!
littlereview: (trek)
A Thought Went Up My Mind Today )

I had a busy but nice Friday, again enjoying beautiful weather -- it rained while we were in the car and at dinner, but for the most part we had a warm spring day with purple magnolias and rhododendrons popping out all over the neighborhood. I spent the morning working on a review of Voyager's "Parallax", an episode that has a mediocre plot and great characters (with my J/C blinders off, I can really enjoy the Janeway/Torres and Chakotay/Tuvok interactions). Then we drove to College Park to pick up Daniel, who drove us back.

We had barbecue for dinner with my parents (and leftover Passover desserts including chocolate covered macaroons, my favorite part of Passover). At home we caught up on Elementary and Last Week Tonight, then watched some Chopped (I wanted both the NYPD cops to win). Here are a few photos I took in and around the Louvre, where needless to say flash photography is not allowed, including the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Venus de Milo, Hercules, the Louvre pyramids, and La Gioconda surrounded by her admirers:

Adorned in Masters Loving Art )
littlereview: (photos)
The Enkindled Spring )

Our basement step is fixed. The laundry is folded. I am caught up on necessary work and have finished a Big Silly Project. There were two bunnies out enjoying the beautiful late afternoon weather when I walked. I copy-edited two vastly different projects for people while sorting beads with cat help. Amazon had Joyce Carol Oates' The Accursed for 99 cents so I bought it.

I am sure there are other things (the new Star Wars trailer looks awesome, Dig is such total crack that I can't look away) but I am completely behind again and it's midnight, so I will try to remember by tomorrow. Meanwhile here are some more flowers from Winterthur (I do have more Paris photos to post, but somehow the Montmartre pics got all out of order)!

Early Spring )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Tis Late )

We had much nicer weather on Wednesday than Tuesday -- warmer, brighter, less damp -- which unfortunately did not make it any easier to get work done since I wanted to be outside! I had to do some rearranging to make space for the big camera bag I bought to take to Europe, which took a ridiculous amount of time and reorganization and no one but me can tell anything was accomplished at all. The good news is that I found two 1928 Ernest Shepard Winnie the Pooh prints that we received as a gift several years ago, put aside to frame, and forgot where we'd put, so now those are finally hanging up!

Because I was reorganizing camera equipment, I also had to organize the craft stuff that shares the shelves, which led to my making a couple of pairs of earrings (come on, I have to have a pair of Eiffel Towers now that I've been to Paris). We caught up on the Once Upon a Time we missed (meh) and saw this week's Nashville (fun). We only saw one bunny today, but there are still many daffodils, lots of forsythia, dozens of magnolias opening all over the neighborhood, and the first purple rhododendrons coming into bloom. In honor of that, here are some photos of Winterthur's March Bank last Sunday:

Rhapsody in Blue )
littlereview: (get critical)
Gapped Sonnet )

It rained all day Tuesday, which is probably just as well because I had so many things to catch up on. Because I had confused the day, I was wearing sweats and trying to upload photos while editing an essay when my neighbor Cybel came to get me for lunch, but that ended up being a delightful break -- we went to the mall, did a little shopping, and ate in the food court, where the crepe place sadly still isn't open but the mezze place Cava is. The laundry didn't get folded, but it was a lovely afternoon!

Our evening involved The Flash (I keep thinking the Arrow crossovers will make me want to go back to watching Arrow but it's sort of the opposite) and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (glad May got some backstory, not all that impressed with what it turned out to be) followed by the Avengers on Jimmy Kimmel special (thank you cast for being you, you make fandom a pleasure even when Kimmel is being a jerk). Os won, Nats lost. I'm looking for ways to stomach election season. Hillwood orchids this spring:

Conservatory Color )
littlereview: (green little review)
Sakura )

I spent another beautiful spring day with Cheryl and Paul, who got up very early so he could work half a day so that late in the morning we could go downtown to see the cherry blossoms that are peaking in bloom right now around the Tidal Basin. We had a minor crisis when the parking lot refused to honor the parking reservation we'd made online, but another parking lot offered the same price, so we parked beneath L'Enfant Plaza and walked past the Department of Agriculture to the water. There were weekend-sized crowds despite it being a weekday, but the weather was perfect and we got to visit Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, Franklin Roosevelt, and MLK at their memorials. We ate lunch at the picnic tables near the park service building and bought this year's cherry blossom pin and magnet in the Jefferson Memorial shop.

Post-Cherry Blossom Festival )

We had thought about going to Riverbend Park in the mid-afternoon to see the bluebells, but Annmarie and Cindy, whom we'd planned to try to meet, were tired from a morning at Great Falls, the bluebells were reportedly only about 30 percent flowering, and we were a little sun-dazed, so rather than fighting rush hour traffic, we came home and watched Sharpe's Mission and Sharpe's Revenge (we were in a Sean Bean mood after a late-night viewing of GoldenEye the night before). Plus we watched some Shoujo Cosette, including "Javert's Justice," the episode in which Javert is nearly derailed but since this is the Japanese kids' version of the story, many things end up much more happily than they do in the book and most adaptations of Les Mis! After Cheryl had to go home, Paul and I caught up on Madam Secretary and the terrible O's game.
littlereview: (little review)
Extreme quickie! Have spent the day in the Brandywine River valley with Paul and Cheryl at Winterthur and Longwood, both of which had lots of flowers and magnificent weather, then we stopped on the way home for dinner in College Park with Daniel at Blaze Pizza (Adam was playing volleyball). More tomorrow!

Winterthur and Longwood )
littlereview: (get critical)
Never Ever )

I had a very nice Saturday out pretty much all day! We met Felicia and her family for breakfast at the Original Pancake House -- my parents took us all out -- then we took Daniel back to College Park and met my parents and cousins at Mount Vernon. It was gorgeous, high 60s with trees coming into bloom the whole way along the drive -- we caught a glimpse of the Tidal Basin, but it's a good thing we didn't pick today to go downtown because in addition to parades and festivities, someone committed suicide at the Capitol and the gunshot put the whole area on lockdown, roads closed and buildings evacuated, on top of the huge crowds of people already milling around the flowers.

Mount Vernon was also quite crowded -- Felicia's family did not manage to take the mansion tour because the guides were running so late admitting people that they were afraid of missing their plane -- but we went to see the animals including lots of little lambs, the upper gardens, and the half of the museum with all the interactive exhibits and Washington's false teeth. After my cousins headed back to Los Angeles, Paul and I went out to dinner courtesy his brother Jon and family, who sent us a gift certificate to the wonderful Gaithersburg Indian restaurant Tandoori Nights. Then we came home and caught up on Elementary and watched some Inspector Lewis!

Lambs and Cousins )
littlereview: (trek)
Amour Honestus )

Quickie as I have spent the evening with my cousin Felicia and family, visiting my parents from Los Angeles, and now have Daniel at home, working on taxes and discussing places to live in Seattle, which is all lovely! I spent all morning working on a review of Star Trek: Voyager's premiere, "Caretaker", a strange yet oddly pleasant exercise in revisionist history and might-have-beens.

Then we went to pick up Daniel, did some shopping with him, and drove home past blooming trees all over the area! Tomorrow we are going out to brunch, so I must get to bed and keep recovering from this freaking tetanus shot. In the meantime, here are some more photos from the Basilique Royale de Saint-Denis in Paris, the ancient Gothic church where nearly every French monarch is interred:

Tombs of Kings )
littlereview: (green little review)
Losing It )

I felt marginally better on Thursday than I did on Wednesday! And by "marginally" I mean that I did not have to curl up unable even to nap because my armpit hurt so much, I was only freezing and shivering for a couple of hours, and I even took a walk around the corner to see if there were bunnies -- there were two, one right next door and one four houses away, which was exactly as far as I could manage to walk before my energy ran out. Plus I finished the first draft of my silly project, which some of you will get to see soon!

In the early evening I did something I have not done in years: watched an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, which TrekToday has decided to retro review. I didn't know whether it would feel nostalgic, rage-inducing, or sad; it felt nostalgic, almost entirely in a good way, especially after watching the season premiere of Outlander which pissed me off royally on a whole host of women's issues. We decided to postpone Elementary to watch the magnificent crack that is Dig. My neighborhood looks like this around the bunnies:

Spring Bursting Out )


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