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October )

My Tuesday was even more of a Monday than my Monday was. Case in point: I went out to buy hair stuff at Ulta, only to discover when I went to check out that in my desperation to find a coupon that as it happened had already expired, I had left my wallet at home. The trip to AC Moore was therefore postponed as well. I did manage to get some computer stuff done, though my laptop kept me up very late last night downloading 91, count 'em, 91 updates after finally letting the service pack install once I had run 14, count 'em, 14 suggested Microsoft fixes. And look, finally The Water Diviner trailer!

It was only a one-bunny, one-deer day, which I blame on it being nearly dark by 7 p.m., boo. In our ongoing effort to figure out which TV shows are worth watching, we watched the new episode of Agents of SHIELD, which was okay, and Forever, which I am loving -- not just Ioan Gruffudd whom I always love even in the Fantastic Four movies, but interesting women and a great, unconventional father-son relationship and lots of humor, which Gotham could really afford to emulate. Here are some photos from Artsfest at Annmarie Gardens a couple of weekends ago, including music and crafts:


Artsfest )
littlereview: (photos)
The Purpose of Ritual )

My Monday was a Monday, by which I mean I had trouble getting out of bed, didn't get nearly enough work done, and haven't managed to fold the laundry yet. We had some rain, I only saw one bunny (and he was upset because there was a moving van blocking him from hopping away from me), no one has solved ISIS or global warming or ebola or any of the other things stressing me out on the news.

In happier news, Sleepy Hollow managed to be hilarious and have kick-ass women while facing the apocalypse (Gotham was merely okay -- it desperately needs some humor, if not Adam West-style Batman jokes, then at least Martha Stewart cracks like the former). Sadly I hvae to pay taxes to Amazon.com starting tomorrow. Some pics from the colonial fair at Mount Vernon the weekend before last:


18th Century Pastimes )
littlereview: (photos)
A Calling )

Sunday was another gorgeous early fall day, and we spent it at the Maryland Renaissance Festival with Daniel and Cheryl -- it was the last day Barely Balanced was performing and we had missed them the first weekend we went. We saw both their shows (one involves not just acrobatics but getting the stage and each other wet), plus the one Shakespeare's Skum show we missed last time (the pretty hilarious tragedy of Othello), the Faire's production of The Comedy of Errors (very well abridged and extremely well performed), some music, some stunts, the elephant, several frogs in the little ponds around the grounds, and the king!


Back to the Renaissance )


We ate dinner at the festival (I had macaroni and cheese on a stick, plus some bites of other people's cheesecake on a stick and key lime pie on a stick), then took Daniel back to College Park, where we briefly met up with Adam to deliver some food from his grandmother and leftover birthday cake. After driving home beneath a beautiful sunset, we watched the season premiere of Once Upon a Time (which I thought was okay not great) and the season finale of Masters of Sex (which I thought was great). Though we didn't see the games, the Ravens, Orioles, and Nationals all had a great day -- the Nats pitched a no-hitter!
littlereview: (jewitch)
A Soldier )

It was a gorgeous September Saturday, warm and clear, so when eventually Daniel was awake, we took him to pick apples at Homestead Farm. There are lots of animals on the farm now in preparation for the pumpkin festival -- there are already pumpkins for picking in the fields and pre-picked by the store -- and there were more people than I've ever seen walking to the apple orchards.


Farm Harvest )


When we came home, Paul's parents met us at our house and we watched most of the Terps-Hoosiers game (Maryland won its first Big Ten confrontation, yay!) before going to my parents' for a belated Rosh Hashanah dinner and to celebrate Daniel's birthday with all the grandparents. I ate tons (salad, faux chicken soup, faux chicken dinner, too much dessert)!

Then we came home and watched this week's Doctor Who, which I really enjoyed which is weird because I can blow holes in the storytelling -- I love Capaldi, I even like Coleman better with him (I like Clara trying to have a life and see all the wonder at the same time). I would like Clara to have an arc that in no way involves a romance or a male supporter and better Bechdel ratios.

We watched Outlander's mid-season finale, too, and I see why people warned me about sexual violence in the books -- the show can be kind of shy about showing body parts in sex scenes yet not shy at all about explicit sexual assault, which really irritates me. I know they must be snipping a lot from the books, so I wish they'd leave more of the historical stuff. Sunday: more Renfaire!
littlereview: (trek)
I Held a Jewel In My Fingers )

Friday was Daniel's 21st birthday -- none of us are sure how that happened so quickly! He had a huge project due in Operating Systems which he expected to take up most of the day (as indeed it had taken up most of the week), so I finished my review of Deep Space Nine's "Shadows and Symbols" (which is excellent, though DS9 really has no not-great episodes during its last season) and had lunch with Paul, who worked from home and made us eggwiches.

After the Nationals secured the NL's best record of the season, we went to College Park to have dinner with Daniel, Adam, and Adam's girlfriend at the Mexican restaurant Azteca, then to Cold Stone for ice cream. We left the latter two in College Park and came home to watch Sweeney Todd (Terfel and Quast great, Thompson okay though not particularly better than Bonham Carter in the movie, Mackey no more able to breathe life into Johanna than anyone else ever can). Pics:


Birthday Celebration )
littlereview: (green little review)
Another Poem on My Daughter's Birthday )

I had a quiet Rosh Hashanah doing what you're not supposed to do on Rosh Hashanah -- work and chores -- and a bit of a walk in the rain, but I could only barely deal with annual Rosh Hashanah services and fashion show at the big downtown synagogue when my kids were in Hebrew school and now feel atheism descending upon me every time I walk into the building, and I don't really feel enough a part of any of the leftie hippie congregations to trek out to them for the High Holy Days. Ironically, when I was putting laundry away, my miniature Torah fell over and knocked a miniature teacup down on a bedroom shelf, which I am sure is an omen of some sort.

Friday is Daniel's 21st birthday, which most feels incredible to me -- I have no idea how that happened so fast! We are having dinner with his grandparents on Saturday to celebrate, since he has work that has to be finished tomorrow. Ever since we went to the fair in Boonsborough and I got to see wine bottle fairy light lamps at one vendor's tent, because I love fairy lights (I am glad they make them now in non-Christmas colors, even Halloween sets), I have been playing with bottles and lights and had nice relaxing colorful lighting for this gray and drizzly day. Here are flamingos, cormorants, cranes, and penguins in their new homes at the Maryland Zoo:


Angry Birds )
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The Waters Cannot Return In Repentance )

L'shanah tovah! I had a much less exciting Wednesday than Tuesday, though it was a nice day; I did a bunch of work and chores, then went out to Charming Charlie to buy a bag I saw on sale last week but didn't get (of course, they were sold out), and stopped at AC Moore to use a rewards certificate on glass and fairy lights. We had Rosh Hashanah dinner with my parents, a small group this year since we're having a bigger group to celebrate Daniel's 21st birthday over the weekend.

We watched the fabulous first episode of the David Tennant-narrated Penguins: Spy in the Huddle on PBS, then the increasingly violent Legends which at least has interesting women as well as Sean Bean, and then the season premiere of Nashville which is, well, pretty much Dallas with singing. Some photos from American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley at the Corcoran Museum, which is closing (the exhibit and the museum) for at least a year after this weekend:


Metalsmithing )
littlereview: (photos)
A Bird Song )

I had a most excellent Tuesday even though the car was in the shop and needed a few hundred dollars' worth of maintenance. Paul got up early and worked from home so that in the mid-afternoon, we could drive to Baltimore for the Maryland Zoo's Penguin Coast grand opening for penguin parents, a.k.a. people who have adopted penguins at the zoo!

The main purpose of the new enclosure is breeding and conservation, but it also lets visitors get closer to the penguins. The zoo is closed this week to prepare for the exhibit's opening to the public, so the penguin parents had it to ourselves. We got free carousel and train rides (something we'd never done before!) plus cookies and popcorn and a tour of the facility.


Penguin Colony )


We picked up the car on the way home from Baltimore and had chili for dinner. Then we watched the excellent Finding Your Roots on PBS (Stephen King, Gloria Reuben, Courtney B. Vance) before the season premiere of Agents of SHIELD (awesome opening, snore as soon as Skye appeared) and the second episode of Forever (still liking, like the women as much as Ioan)!
littlereview: (green little review)
Snowy Owl Goddess )

The autumnal equinox could not have occurred on a more beautiful day -- though we had summery temperatures over the weekend, our Monday was clear and cool, so much so that when Paul was done with work, we went to Locust Grove to walk along the creek. It was a fairly uneventful day in most regards, all work and chores, but when the weather is so glorious and I can watch squirrels and birds out the back window from my computer, that is fine with me!


Locust Grove )


I was reasonably pleased with the way the fall TV season started, foregoing the two-hour Dallas episode to watch Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, and Forever. Apart from hints of Catwoman, I was pretty ambivalent about the first; I love all the characters on the second though even without having watched SPN, it's a bit much on the apocalyptic themes for me; and I loved the third, like getting New Amsterdam back with better lead chemistry and Ioan Gruffudd!
littlereview: (jewitch)
Memory )

I had a very nice afternoon at Mount Vernon's annual Colonial Fair -- 18th century crafts, strolling musicians, pewter jewelry, homemade food and soaps, weapons demonstrations -- but I am rushing because I can't figure out how in Open Office to replace paragraph marks, which is driving me crazy (the new computer doesn't have MSWord, and still won't install the Microsoft service pack, which is driving me crazier). We drove down at 11 a.m., ate lunch, met Cheryl, went to see the sword swallower and militia reenactment, then met up with my parents and had chocolate croissants!


Colonial Fair )


After a few hours at the fair, we went inside to the museums and stopped in the gift shops before we all went our separate ways. We had missed the entirety of the Ravens game but it's quite enough for me that they won! As often happens when we're at Mount Vernon, we were in the mood for peanut soup, which we had for dinner, then we watched football highlights and the beginning of the Panthers-Steelers game before Masters of Sex came on -- the football delay for Madame Secretary this week and probably every week means we'll watch On Demand if it winds up being good enough to follow.
littlereview: (green little review)
Tang )

We spent most of the day in Calvert County at Artsfest in Annmarie Sculpture Garden and at Flag Ponds Park, which has a wooded path down to the Chesapeake beach beneath Calvert Cliffs. The weather was gorgeous, the bay warm enough to swim in, and we got to hear and hour and a half of Ocean Quartet at the crafts festival while eating homemade caramel corn, plus we got to admire lots of sculpture, glass, carvings, jewelry, furniture, garden decor, paintings and other crafts!


Woods and Beach )


We stopped on the way home for BGR, since we had a coupon for a free burger -- their seasonal pumpkin milkshakes are fantastic, too -- and ate while watching the last episode of The Roosevelts, which finally gave Eleanor her due. Then we watched the Outlander wedding, which I found to be something of a letdown -- weird combination of trying to be realistic with romance novel schlock -- and now the late rerun of Doctor Who, which so far is pure crack.
littlereview: (trek)
My Computer Ate My Homework )

I had a perfectly fine Friday until a couple of hours ago, but I have spent that last couple of hours fighting and fighting with my new-old computer (the one I inherited from my son) because it absolutely refuses to install the Windows 7 service pack despite my trying all 14 fixes that Microsoft suggests. Do I actually need the freaking service pack? Will it protect me against anything besides, oh, frustration at my computer's refusal to do what Microsoft suggests?

I did post a review of Deep Space Nine's wonderful, wonderful "Image in the Sand", and enjoyed the gorgeous weather in the woods, and had dinner with my parents, and even talked like a pirate a little (though sadly not at Krispy Kreme, which was giving out free doughnuts to people who did so there). Tonight's The Roosevelts was very sad, but had lots of Winston Churchill, which makes me happy. Animals from the Maryland and Pennsylvania Renfaires:


Renfaire Critters )
littlereview: (get critical)
The Storm )

I had a very busy but nice day with several friends! After a morning of chores, I had lunch with two friends from the baby group I was invited to join when Daniel was six months old -- I had only just moved back to the area after living in Chicago and these women very kindly let me participate in a group they had formed when they met in a prenatal class. We have each just sent our younger children off to college, so we met at Aroma in the mall to discuss their experiences and our experiences and to catch up in general. Eventually my mother came to the mall and texted me, so she joined us before I realized we'd been there for more than three hours!

Then I rushed home because we had other friends coming over to watch Dark City, which I had never seen before and was not at all spoiled for -- it was great, terrific acting from Sewell and Connelly, and it's obvious that the Wachowskis swiped a great deal of The Matrix from it visually and thematically. Then we went to California Tortilla, where I had a honey lime burrito bowl and we all had lots of chips and queso. After The Roosevelts (phew, they did not try to heterosexualize Eleanor, and yay George VI guest appearance), we caught up on Legends -- poor Sean Bean, for one minute I really thought he was going to suffer his usual fate!

And now I am watching the numbers come in from the Scottish independence referendum (or the Scottish secession referendum, depending on who's reporting) and don't know why it is making me bite my nails -- I have no personal stake in it, not even one of ancestral heritage, and I really understand why people could vote yes or no depending on their priorities. I am trying to decide whether to stay awake for the results or go to bed and find out in the morning. Meanwhile, some photos from the pig races and swimming at the Maryland State Fair last month:


Pig Races )
littlereview: (photos)
Mother Night )

It has been a chores and work day. I have nothing exciting to report apart from the fact that Daniel's middle school geometry teacher won a million dollars (yes literally) on Wheel of Fortune! There was much ongoing local rejoicing about baseball post-season, and gorgeous cool weather that has brought the chipmunks back in force, though I only saw two bunnies and the deer family was off somewhere.

Our Comcast went down in the late afternoon, both internet and television, and at first the web site said it wouldn't be back till 10 p.m., but some screaming and calling and tweeting at them got it back just as The Roosevelts started. Again I wanted more quotes, less narration -- how does Burns know that Teddy Jr. never forgave Franklin and Eleanor? -- but am still enjoying it. Some Maryland Terrapins:


Campus Terps )
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Baseball and Writing )

I have spent pretty much the entire day reconfiguring Adam's old laptop, a 2009 Dell Inspiron running Windows 7, but it has all been worth it because my well-loved 2007 Latitude running XP finally reached the point where it couldn't run the few programs for which I need a laptop. I had a minor crisis in the morning because my father, who was going to give it to my uncle, couldn't remember the system password from many months earlier, but eventually we guessed it and I spent the next very many hours deleting and installing programs.

Tonight, however, I am in a good mood, not only because I have a laptop doing everything I want it to do that didn't cost me anything, but because both the Orioles and Nationals have won their respective divisions and are both trending as #eastchamps right now! We were watching The Roosevelts during the end of the Nats game, following the score online, and less than half an hour later, the Os had clinched too. Now I am catching up on Dallas (go Pamela)! Some pics of the falconry at the Pennsylvania Renfaire last month:


For the Birds )
littlereview: (get critical)
Flannan Isle )

I spent most of Monday belatedly celebrating Cheryl's birthday! This involved giving her goofy presents, going to Lebanese Taverna and Fresh Market for hummus, cheese and spinach fatayer, baklava, and a chocolate brownie cupcake, and coming back here for hours of Doctor Who, from the Eighth Doctor movie to "School Reunion," "The Shakespeare Code," "The Fires of Pompeii," "The Doctor's Daughter," and some of the 50th anniversary specials, particularly "The Five(ish) Doctors."

We went for a walk before Cheryl went home to see whether we could find any bunnies, and though we did not succeed, we stopped by to see my neighbors -- Adam's friend Daniel was injured on his 18th birthday, so we checked in with him and hung out with his mom Cybel for a little while and snuggled their kittens. I watched the second episode of The Roosevelts (we watched the first on Sunday night) and want more Republicans like Teddy, for all his faults. Ships and soldiers in Baltimore on Sunday:


Star Spangled Ships )
littlereview: (green little review)
The Clouded Morning )

I am back and quite sunburned from a lovely day in Baltimore with [profile] apaulled and [profile] hufflepants at the Star Spangled Spectacular, celebrating the end of the War of 1812 and composition of the Star Spangled Banner, written in a boat off Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore which we saw reenacted by bands at the Terrapins game on Saturday. We didn't board the biggest ships, which had hour-plus long lines, but we went on several schooners and a couple of clippers, and we walked around the gorgeous naval vessels and watched the Blue Angels performing over the harbor.

The festival had lots of nice giveaways from national parks collectibles to War of 1812 pins, plus guides to Maryland historical sites and waterways. We walked to and from the Inner Harbor past Camden Yards and through [profile] hufflepants's neighborhood, which has fabulous restored houses and lots of cats including her two. Though the music-and-fireworks show was broadcast on public television on Saturday night, we didn't get to see it until Sunday when we got home (and the Orioles did not play the Yankees until evening, though I am delighted to report that they won).


Ships in Baltimore )
littlereview: (jewitch)
The Impressed Seaman's Appeal )

We spent nearly the entire day in College Park with my parents, Paul's parents, and our kids, primarily at the football game! It was a very nice day despite the Terps' heartbreaking loss in the final seconds to the Mountaineers and despite the rain that started right before the game, continuing into the last quarter, at which point we were all so wet and chilly that we retired to a lounge in Adam's dorm to watch the final minutes. The game has been all over the sports news today, not because either team is expected to finish high in the rankings and not because of the score, though it was an exciting second half, but because Maryland wore uniforms decorated to celebrate the bicentennial of the Star Spangled Banner and the end of the War of 1812.


Parents' Weekend Part Two )


After the game, we walked back to our cars and went out to dinner at Mamma Lucia along with Adam's girlfriend, who had gotten a call that her mother had locked herself out of their house near where we live...and since her father was at his reunion out of town, he couldn't let her in. So after we took Daniel food shopping and dropped both kids off at their respective domiciles -- Daniel has a friend from high school visiting from a college on a trimester system that hasn't started for the fall yet -- we drove Adam's girlfriend back with us to drop off at her parents' house and rescue her mother. Then we came home for Doctor Who (creepily enjoyable) and Outlander (very good, sad, unnerving in the wake of Scotland's impending vote on secession).
littlereview: (trek)
Verge )

We are home between trips to the University of Maryland for Parents' Weekend, which started for us tonight with a reception at the business school. I rushed to post a review of Deep Space Nine's "Tears of the Prophets" so Paul and I could go to College Park in the afternoon. We picked up Daniel and went to dinner at the student union's food court (I had hummus and grape leaves from Moby Dick, the others had Sbarro).

Adam arrived to meet us while we were eating, then we drove Daniel back to his apartment and took Adam to the business school, where we met the undergraduate dean, listened to live jazz, and ate lots of desserts! We also met a bunch of other students' parents, many from our county. Then we took Adam and a friend back to their dorm and came home to get ready for the Terps-Mountaineers game on Saturday!


Parents' Weekend Part One )
littlereview: (green little review)
August )

Okay so I'm late on the poem. Microsoft uploaded a massive update for people still trying to use XP that I swear was designed to make everyone still trying to use XP have to buy a new computer, because for the past day and a half, my laptop has been useless -- crashing constantly, locking up when I try to do not-very-high-resource things like edit a text file in Notepad or send an email. So since I have switched from my desktop to my laptop in the evening so I could watch the Ravens game, I haven't been able to get a thing done. Apologies if I owe you email.

My day was uneventful anyway, apart from a whole bunch of work, with a couple of breaks for walks because it was cool and not too humid till late in the day -- we still have bunnies. 9/11 is always a hard day for several people I know, so I had that background unhappiness which did not help my mood any when the computer started acting up. The Ravens, at least, won (yes I know all the reasons to be ashamed, but they were playing Pittsburgh and its rapist quarterback so no one has a lot of room to talk). From the National Aquarium's Australia exhibit months ago:


Bird, Flying Fox, Snake )

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