littlereview: (little review)
I am in Richmond with Paul, where we have had a lovely very full day with Cheryl and Kevin -- lunch at Greek Cuisine, Toys of the '50s, '60s and 70s and The Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration at the Virginia Historical Society, The Rachel Lambert Mellon Collection of Jean Schlumberger jewelry exhibit at the VMFA, a walk around the frog-filled lake at Deep Run Park, a visit to Kevin's house to see his son, dinner at Olive Garden, and a viewing of Mystery Men at Cheryl's house. In the morning we're going to Williamsburg to see Botticelli and the Search for the Divine! Some pics of the toys, jewelry, and a duck:

Richmond )
littlereview: (green little review)
Sea Lily )

Sunday was much colder and greyer than Saturday, not least because we had to take Adam back to school for the rest of the spring semester. We had a mostly quiet morning involving various chores and keeping cats warm, then we took son food shopping, grabbed lunch, and took him to his dorm to finish his spring break homework.

We picked up Maddy from work and were going to have a quiet dinner, but someone I know locally was Freecycling a queen mattress and box spring, so Maddy and I went to pick that up for her room, which required four people to tie it on top of the minivan and three to get it down and take it upstairs, but now her room has a big bed!

Paul and I watched To Walk Invisible, a film about Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Bronte with an annoyingly apt title for a movie that obsesses about their brother and his disappointed hopes vis a vis their father rather than on their independent interests. Here are some more photos of the cherry blossoms from yesterday:

Cherry Blossoms II )
littlereview: (get critical)
Sakura )

Because the weather was lovely and the cherry blossoms were reported to be as close to peak as we're going to get this season, we went downtown Saturday morning to see what there was to see. I know a lot of the flowers were ruined by the snow, but it was hard to tell except up close; from a distance the trees looked a bit pinker than usual, and there were plenty of pretty clusters of blossoms. Since we got down early, we only hit major crowds as we were walking back to the car, having concluded that the lines at the food trucks were too long, so we went to Lebanese Taverna for lunch instead and it was great.

Cherry Blossoms )

Maddy had to work for much of the day, so we didn't see her till late in the evening, before which we watched some basketball (with the Maryland women now out of the tournament, I will root for both Oregon teams, though as long as UNC doesn't win the men's tournament, I won't complain too much whatever happens). In the evening we watched Independence Day: Resurgence with Adam on HBO, and while it's not a particularly good movie, it's not nearly as bad as, say, Batman v. Superman, so I'm not sure why the reviews were so terrible. It's kind of the Equilibrium of alien invasion movies only without Sean Bean.
littlereview: (trek)
Basketball )

Friday was Paul's birthday and we spent the entire day with family. We took Adam and Maddy to Hanover to see their grandparents and have lunch at Hibachi Buffet Grill followed by cake back at their house, then we drove home, dropped Maddy off at work, met Christine at our house, and went to my parents' for dinner and more cake!

Over the course of the evening we discovered that Christine had never seen Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and since we've been meaning to see it again since we got back from Carcassonne since so much of it was filmed there, we watched that. After Christine went home, we Skyped with Daniel. Now we're hoping Wisconsin comes back against Florida!

Birthday Day )
littlereview: (little review)
Epilogue )

Adam had lots of homework on Thursday and Maddy was fighting with her financial aid paperwork for school, so we had another quiet morning doing assorted chores. In the afternoon Maddy was meeting friends from work at the mall and we took Adam to get him new sneakers, plus we got Menchie's froyo now that there's one in the mall (it was pretty good but I think Yogi Castle is pretty good too, and neither one is Cold Stone Creamery).

The news over the past two days have been so stressful that we spent the evening watching basketball -- we're very sorry Purdue lost, ambivalent about the Michigan game because we generally support Big 10 teams but our Oregon relatives are very happy, and very proud of Xavier for beating Arizona (now it's less awful that Maryland lost to them). Here are some more photos from Frying Pan Farm Park earlier in the week:

Down on the Farm )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Moon Missing )

Maddy worked early and Adam had plans for lunch and hiking with a friend from school, so Paul and I did chores, had lunch together, and went for a walk in the park where there are now buttercups instead of crocuses and light green leaves coming in to replace sickly brownish flowers on the trees. I spent the rest of the afternoon screaming at PayPal and Groupon on the phone (warning: Groupon will try to refund non-delivered items with Groupon Bucks, pretending they can't refund PayPal purchases).

Adam and Maddy came home for dinner (homemade deep-dish pizza), and Christine, who had been at the beach with her parents, came to visit. She had not seen Doctor Strange, which we just got on Blu-Ray, so we watched the movie plus the deleted scenes and gag reel -- we all agreed that the deleted scenes had some fairly important character moments that established why we should care about Strange and why Kaecilius was evil. Here are some animals we saw yesterday along the C&O Canal:

Canal Early Spring )
littlereview: (get critical)
Dream of Heaven )

Alice came to visit Maddy on Tuesday and we all ended up having lunch together at Bombay Bistro, which has lots of vegetarian choices and always has kheer which is awesome. After Alice went home to retrieve her son, we went to walk along the C&O Canal, which almost looked like spring -- some daffodils, some turtles, some ducks and geese, some crazy squirrels! We also discovered that Adam had never seen The Big Chill, so in honor of Jeff Goldblum, we watched it for the first time in years -- still the best soundtrack ever.

By the Canal )

Paul made shish kebab and Mediterranean couscous for Nowruz, then we watched The Flash musical episode, which was awesome -- in addition to the two Glee stars from that and Supergirl, we got gratuitous John Barrowman and Victor Garber, a pair of gay dads, and a better ending than La La Land. Then we were going to watch The Fly but our copy was crappy, so we watched The Favour, the Watch and the Very Big Fish, in which Goldblum, Hoskins, and Richardson are hilarious and the plot is insane!
littlereview: (jewitch)
The Farmer )

Monday was a very nice day -- not too warm but partly sunny -- so after lunch and some homework by everyone, we went to Frying Pan Farm Park (which I always have to explain is named for its panhandle, not because anyone cooks the animals!) to see the lambs, kids, piglets, and calves born there this spring. There were lots of baby piggies belonging to two different moms, a Duroc and a Yorkshire cross, and a trio of jumping Suffolk and Dorset lambs, plus there were horses, bunnies, chickens, turkeys, ducks, peacocks, more goats and cows, plus interloper pigeons and geese!

On the Farm )

We went to the Silver Diner since we had a coupon for Paul's upcoming birthday, then we went to both Trader Joe's and World Market, the latter in part because we were looking for avocado lime dressing for Maddy but we couldn't find it in either place. Adam has been on a Jeff Goldblum kick, so since he had never seen it, after Supergirl (which needed WAY less Winn and WAY more Sorbo and Hatcher), we watched Earth Girls Are Easy, which I haven't seen probably since it was new. I know how politically incorrect it is but it's also hilarious and has great music!
littlereview: (get critical)
Robin Hood )

I had plans on Sunday to go downtown with my family and Cheryl to see the cherry blossoms, but there are very few cherry blossoms -- the early ones died and the late ones haven't opened yet. So instead after lunch we went to Arclight, where Maddy had to work and the rest of us went to see Logan since Adam hadn't seen it yet and the other three of us were happy to see it again. Despite the violence it may be my favorite X-Men movie since the first, though I feel like it's better appreciated by people who've seen the other eight and know the history of the main characters. It feels shorter than its 2+ hours.

We spotted a bunny when we drove home, so we went for a walk to see it up close. Then we watched the end of the second season and beginning of the third season of Robin of Sherwood, which we need to remember to watch more often because I always enjoy it immensely (I've never seen the whole series before). After Cheryl went home, we had tofurkey roast because it's one of Adam's favorites and watched this week's Madam Secretary which he mocked throughout (which is typical for him watching political shows). From Brookside Gardens last weekend, some snow, the season's first turtle, and some greenhouse family pics:

Wintry Wheaton )
littlereview: (get critical)
Elegy Composed in the New York Botanical Garden )

We had a slow morning, as both Adam and Maddy slept till after noon, which I foolishly spent doing laundry instead of making my free one-day special Shutterfly magnets that I worked on tonight so I'm very behind on social media! Once everyone was awake, we had sandwiches, took Maddy to work, and went to Brookside Gardens for its orchid show and the water paths. The cherry blossoms that were opening earlier this month have all turned brown and the daffodils are drooping, but there are still lots of flowers in the conservatory.

Orchidaceae )

We came home to the news that Wisconsin had defeated Villanova, which is fine with all of us -- my sister was a Badger -- and watched most of the Northwestern-Gonzaga game, which Gonzaga may have won but they were upstaged by 1) bad officiating and 2) Northwestern Crying Boy. I can't deal with basketball all day and son couldn't care, so in the evening we watched I Love You Phillip Morris, which none of us had seen, was free On Demand, and I've been in a Ewan mood this week. I liked it much better than American Pastoral!
littlereview: (trek)
Fast Break )

Adam's spring break started on Friday, so since we needed to be in College Park anyway and several games of the first round of the women's NCAA tournament were being played there, we picked up my father and went to the Xfinity Center to watch Maryland play Bucknell -- a wonderful antidote to the Maryland men's terrible defeat to Xavier though not a super-exciting game considering that Maryland won 103-61, setting a school scoring record.

We had lunch at the stadium (which has veggie burgers even when the full food court isn't open) and watched the beginning of the West Virginia-Elon game (which was very close at the half though not by the end), then went to meet Adam at the student union, where we got St. Patrick's Day ice cream at the dairy while waiting for him. The seating area backs up to the baseball stadium, so we got to see a bit of the Maryland-Princeton game while we ate.

Round One )

Once we had retrieved Adam, we came home to get Maddy, who arrived back in the area very late from L.A. after a delay due to the snow, and dropped her off at work, then went to my parents' house for dinner. Adam has a lot of homework to do over his break and wants to get as much sleep as possible, so our plans for the week are very up in the air, especially since the cherry blossoms are mostly dead and we may get more flurries on Sunday morning!
littlereview: (green little review)
To Daffodils )

Thursday was less cold than Wednesday, but not warm enough to make the remaining snow go away. Our roads are clear and the sidewalks aren't too bad, but the neighborhood paths are iced over and the snow has a crust of ice on top. I had lunch plans with Karen but I had scheduling issues and she threw out her back, so we postponed, and Paul and I went to get haircuts and went food shopping.

We had dinner early because the Terrapins played their first game in the NCAA tournament...which, as it turns out, will be their last game in the NCAA tournament, and the less said about that, the better. I was too depressed for more basketball so we watched some 9th season Bones. Here are some photos of what my neighborhood looked like today as the daffodils and lenten roses tried to recover through the snow:

Snow Survivors )
littlereview: (little review)
Horses On The Camargue )

It was very cold on Wednesday and what snow remained had crusted over with ice, so we didn't do a lot out of doors and I don't have a lot of excitement to report. In fact the biggest activity of my afternoon was a fight with Facebook, which changed the dates and in some cases the positions in the album of trip photos I had uploaded (the dates still aren't right, most of them appear to be the last day we were traveling, but I'm not fixing all 300 of them tonight).

We had Caesar salad with pasta for the Ides of March, then we watched The 100, which was stressful and good as always, and Designated Survivor, which seems finally to have realized how badly it had stalled on its premise and forced annoying characters to the forefront since it made major leaps concerning the conspiracy and shutting certain people up. Here are photos from the Parc Ornithologique de Pont-de-Gau in the Camargue, where flamingos migrate and ponies run free:

Camargue Wildlife )
littlereview: (trek)
Snow )

We woke Tuesday to snow, though not nearly as much as we were threatened with when we went to bed Monday night -- maybe two inches, though it was already melting by the time we were downstairs. The good news for us is that the storm tracked north, though I hear from people in New York that this was not such good news for them. We were able to get out in the early afternoon and drove around a bit to see the neighborhood, though the park was closed so we couldn't walk there. Because it was Pi Day, we picked up pizza for dinner.

Since we were mostly stuck indoors, we decided it might as well be a Ewan McGregor afternoon, so we watched the DVD of the IMAX documentary Humpback Whales, which was terrific. In the evening we watched The Flash -- how come a sentient Speed Force doesn't annoy me as much as angry talking gorillas? -- then the Ewan McGregor-Jennifer Connelly-Dakota Fanning movie American Pastoral, which was very well acted but exceptionally strange both psychologically and politically. 24 hour snow photos, including before-and-after daffodils:

The Storm of the Season )
littlereview: (get critical)
Time has disappeared )

The sky is currently falling, which is kind of a relief -- after days of warnings that led to lots of changes and cancellations, including my own plans, at least the storm has turned out to be a real thing -- but it means we're going to have a quiet Tuesday. We decided to get out while we could on Monday afternoon to see Logan, which was superbly acted, easily my favorite of the Wolverine films and in my top 3 X-Men movies overall, but the violence was pretty extreme, not on a grand scale like X3 or DOFP with cities collapsing but up close and very personal and bloody. Two small spoilers. )

We went out for ice cream and walked a bit in the park after the movie, then came home and watched the episode of Billions that we missed last night. After seeing the pizza scene in that episode, we thought about ordering pizza for dinner, but they were already running an hour and a half behind schedule even though the snow hadn't started falling yet. I went for a walk in the neighborhood right as the flakes began, since it wasn't very cold and it smelled good, then we had frozen Morningstar Farms ribs and sweet potato fries and watched Jackie, in which Portman is better than the screenplay and Sarsgaard is all wrong as Bobby Kennedy, but it's interesting enough to be worth the rental. Here are some photos from the Château de Puivert, a Cathar castle besieged by Crusaders; the front sections date from the 14th century, but the rear sections retain the ruins of the older castle.

Cathar Country )
littlereview: (photos)
When The Fruit Trees Bloom )

Sunday was warmer than Saturday, but we acknowledged by afternoon (when both the county and state started sending out dire warnings) that we had better change our plans to go to Virginia on Monday and Tuesday -- not because most of Virginia is under threat of snow, since it sounds like only Leesburg may get the 4-8 inches forecast here, but because we have to get home to pick up Maddy from the airport and didn't want to risk being caught in a snow emergency on Tuesday evening. So we postponed our Monday plans, then went to Hillwood to enjoy the sunshine. The gardens have an exhibition of Philip Haas's sculptures based on Giuseppe Arcimboldo's botanical paintings, which we'd seen in 2011 at the National Gallery of Art, and the Dacha has an exhibit on watercolor portraits from the private collection of diplomat Henry Middleton during his time in Russia, but we were distracted by all the flowers that will likely be gone after Tuesday.

Hillwood Before Snow )

Since it was Purim, my mother got chocolate hamantaschen for us, and I had one more birthday present to give her, so we went over to my parents' house and ended up having leftovers for dinner while watching the end of the NCAA basktball tournament announcement show (Maryland was in the very last bracket named, but the Terps are a sixth seed set to play Xavier in Orlando next week). We came home for our crowded Sunday night TV schedule -- Once Upon a Time, which was all about the men this week and suffered from way too little Regina and no Emma, then Madam Secretary, which was nicely timely and didn't oversimplify the distress of sexual harassment even for a powerful woman who knows she can defend herself and will be supported completely by her employers and family -- I wish Elizabeth had found a way to warn other women about the predatory foreign president even if she didn't want to talk about her own experiences for a number of reasons -- then Elementary where I was glad to see Kitty again.
littlereview: (get critical)
Self-Portrait as Vincent Van Gogh in the Asylum at Arles )

Saturday was miserably cold -- not that the cold really bothers me, but it's killing the cherry blossoms and lots of other flowers blooming early because so far it's been a mild winter. Plus we're supposed to get real snow on Tuesday, meaning we probably can't go to Virginia, which sucks. It didn't stop me from doing anything fun, at least -- I went to a stitch'n'bitch at Karen's with Heather, Teresa, Erin, and Jim while Paul was doing shopping chores, then he picked me up and we went to Target together, took a walk around the lake, saw geese, and picked up Moana on DVD.

We had Israeli couscous with chick peas and raisins for dinner since it's Purim, then we watched 20th Century Women, which was marketed and reviewed as a funny, sad, wistful look at the lives of three women. This is the biggest BS advertising campaign since Million Dollar Baby as a woman's story of triumph over adversity; the entire movie revolves around the character of Annette Bening's son and I'm not even sure it passes the Bechdel Test since all the women ever talk about are how to find and/or raise a real man. I did not like it at all. Van Gogh's inspirations in Arles:

Vincent on the Rhône )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Mary Magdalene )

After two gorgeous days, winter made a return to the greater DC area on Friday, with temperatures in the 40s and snow on and off all morning...which would not be so bad except that it's dropping into the 20s tonight, and if it drops below 24 degrees around the Tidal Basin, about 90 percent of the cherry blossoms will die on the branch before they're fully in bloom, which would be a big disappointment. Plus, if it snows more, we may not be able to go to Richmond on Monday and Williamsburg on Tuesday. We had lunch with Alice and Jeremy, who were up our way for Navy medical stuff, at the Cheesecake Factory, and we visited Cabin John Park, which still has its cherry blossoms.

In the afternoon we took my parents to College Park, where we picked up Adam and went to Azteca for Mexican food and one last evening of celebrating my mother's birthday (they even brought a slice of cake and candle with our more traditional desserts). In very happy UMD news, Adam has been awarded a paid summer internship at NIH in the Laboratory of Cellular Imaging and Macromolecular Biophysics doing deep learning research to figure out better ways to automatically segment biomedical images; in less happy UMD news, Northwestern knocked the Terp men out of the Big Ten tournament. From Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Mary of Nazareth, Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, Mary Salome, and Mary Jacobe:

Five Marys )
littlereview: (trek)
waga kuni )

Thursday was an even more gorgeous day than Wednesday -- 70 degrees and sunny with a nice breeze, and since it's supposed to drop into the 40s tomorrow, we figured we should enjoy the spring! So after various chores and lunch, we went to Brookside Gardens, which has streams of daffodils and puddles of crocuses plus an explosion of early cherry blossoms. No goslings yet, though there were plenty of Canada goose pairs, a few ducks, and some butterflies.

Come the Cherry Blossoms )

It was the actual day of my mother's birthday, though the extended family celebrated last weekend, so we went out to dinner with her and my father at Trapezaria, where I had several of my favorite things including hummus, fire feta, dolmades, and rice pudding. Then we watched the first two episodes of the new season of Broadchurch, which is just as upsetting as the last season, plus some catch-up on Full Frontal With Samantha Bee before Kristen Stewart on Colbert.
littlereview: (green little review)
Martha )

Wednesday was a gorgeous day, which makes me feel even more accomplished when I announce that three of my four laundries are now folded! We went for a walk in Cabin John Park, which still has crocuses and now has daffodils and early cherry blossoms too. I am traumatized that CBS has cast Jason Isaacs in Discovery; I was really ready to be done with Star Trek, especially with paying for Star Trek, and now I may have to track down All Access, sigh.

We caught up on The 100, which continues to be excellent -- most feminist show on TV -- before the return of Designated Survivor, which has a couple of interesting women and a trio of stereotypes all circling Kirkman, who needs to be more interesting himself instead of always being acted upon. Here are some photos from Tarascon, where Martha went to preach after arriving in Gaul with her brother Lazarus, who became the first Bishop of Marseille:

The Saint and the Monster )


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