littlereview: (photos)
Despite rain in the forecast, we had another pretty much perfect day in the Outer Banks! We went to the beach right after breakfast so Cheryl could swim before she had to check out, then we packed lunch to bring with us and went to Wanchese Marina to go out with Paradise Dolphin Tours, with whom we had good luck last year. This year we had even better luck -- we saw more than a dozen dolphins as well as various shore birds that surround Bodie Lighthouse.

After we got off the boat, we decided to drive to the lighthouse itself and walk to the wetlands behind it, which are full of crabs and egrets. Then we went to Jennette's Pier, which has a small aquarium and a long elevated walkway from which one can see right through the clear water to the rays and skates as well as the fish people were trying to catch. Cheryl had to drive home after dinner, so we went out for Thai food, said goodbye to her, and took a walk on the beach!


Lighthouses and Waterways )
littlereview: (jewitch)
We have had a wonderful very full day in North Carolina, starting after breakfast in the hotel with a trip to Roanoke Island to visit Fort Raleigh and the Elizabethan Gardens, which were celebrating the anniversary of the birth of Virginia Dare. We stopped in Manteo to see the tall ship Elizabeth II, had lunch, then went to the beach for several hours to swim and toss a football.

It had clouded up a lot in the late afternoon, so after grabbing a snack, we went to the Nature Conservancy's Nags Head Ecological Preserve, where we saw many frogs and toads. It started to rain while we were there, so we did a bit of shopping, then came back to a gorgeous rainbow over the beach. So we took a walk, ate dinner, and watched The Prestige on cable!


Gardens and Shore )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Other than some horrible traffic getting down I-95 to Fredericksburg, we have had a perfect day traveling to and being in the Outer Banks! We stopped for lunch outside Richmond and made a brief pit stop to see the monster truck Gravedigger, who lives in North Carolina (and whom the kids loved when they were young, though now they roll their eyes):


Monster Truck Madness )


Then we continued on to Kitty Hawk, checked into the Travelodge and went to the beach for a couple of hours. The ocean is as warm as the air, there are lots of fish in the very clear water, and we saw pelicans, seagulls, terns, and various other birds, plus when we went back after dinner we saw many ghost crabs and a few toads in the parking lot!
littlereview: (jewitch)
Meaning )

We spent Saturday getting ready to go to the beach! So it was mostly laundry sorting and things like that while Paul and the kids applied deck sealant, which we needed to get done while they both were here to help. To thank them, we took them out for Chinese food, then stopped at Walgreens for bug spray and sunblock.

We had a brief consultation with our house-and-cat-sitter, organized food for the trip, and watched this week's Outlander (still beautifully filmed, though I don't have a great deal of feeling for most of the characters yet) and the Ravens' pre-season win over the Cowboys! Here is one of the rescued grizzly bears from the county fair:


Bear at the Fair )
littlereview: (trek)
Popcorn! )

I had a huge amount to do on Friday and I am feeling good because I got most of it done! I finished a review of Deep Space Nine's terrible horrible "Profit and Lace" despite our internet being out for five hours! And Paul and I went to pick up Daniel from College Park, went to get haircuts, did a little shopping, dyed my hair, and went to my parents' for dinner.

Now we are back home, Adam has gone out with a friend, and the rest of us are watching Robin Williams: Weapons of Self-Destruction, which is both the funniest and saddest thing I have seen in a week of funny-and-sad. Afterwards we will watch the finale of the Chopped teen tournament since we've watched the rest together! Here are some more photos of animals at the county fair:


Fair Animals )
littlereview: (get critical)
Had I a Man's Fair Form )

I had a very busy Thursday that involved visiting two Home Depots, one post office, one doctor, and one car service place, plus laundry and other exciting chores. Our van's emergency brake light had been coming on at weird times and it turned out that the brake fluid had drained, plus we have to have the bearings on one of the wheels replaced, which we want to get done before traveling anywhere but eesh there's a few hundred bucks we did not want to be spending. The Home Depots were for stain for the deck which son power-washed.

Adam got his stitches out, then went to play tennis with friends, so he must be feeling okay. We all spent the evening watching Good Morning Vietnam, which Adam had not seen at all and I hadn't seen in close to two decades since we only had it on tattered VHS -- tough to watch the suicide joke just a few minutes into the movie, and always tough to watch the war scenes. Williams' improv is brilliant and the rest of the cast, including a couple of others we lost too young, is wonderful. Here are a few more photos from the county fair on Wednesday:


More Fun at the Fair )
littlereview: (photos)
Goodnight Moon )

We had a lovely, busy Wednesday. Adam had a late morning dentist appointment, after which we picked up two of his friends and we all went to the county fair. The kids went off to ride things that tossed, flipped, and flung them all over the place, and after taking a few photos, Paul and I went to watch the pig races, which were a giggle as usual, and the Extreme Illusions magic show, which for a carnival show was pretty good. This year there were also a pair of rescued grizzly bears, raised by humans and non-releasable, who were adorable, and we went to see the baby animal barn, including an alpaca mom and cria, some baby goats, and a cow with a calf that had been born less than an hour before.

We also saw the various sheep, goats, pigs, horses, bunnies, chickens, ducks, and donkeys, plus wildlife at the Chesapeake Bay information tents, as well as crafts, farm equipment, and food (I bought a local cheese and grape tray, which may sound moderately healthy for fair food except that I ate it with bubble tea and later we shared funnel cake). When eventually the kids decided they had had enough -- we saw them in the poultry barn, so we know they did things besides ride -- we came home, sent them to a friend's party, and watched the premiere of Legends, a show on which I am seriously hoping Sean Bean will survive because he's the lead though that didn't help him on another recent big hit, then Extant, which is probably going to get canceled right when I start being interested!


At the County Fair )
littlereview: (green little review)
Song of Myself LII )

Tuesday was not particularly less sad than Monday, between the Robin Williams tributes (and awful details of his death) and Lauren Bacall dying, though quickly at 89 in full possession of her faculties was a pretty good way to go. I did have a nice time with Adam -- we went to the bike shop to get him a mini-pump and side mirror and he got me a green tea frappuccino at Starbucks, then I helped him film one of those ALS meme videos in which people dump buckets of ice water over their heads (he also did an extended PSA).

Adam had never seen Dead Poets Society, so we all had dinner together and watched that. It was less depressing than I had anticipated, maybe because it feels so dated in its attitudes about women; the coming-out story parallels with Neil seem obvious on a rewatch, and I like to think that we're making headway for kids growing up in that regard, too. I need to find a copy of Good Morning Vietnam that I can show the kids, since ours is on disintegrating VHS. Some photos from the Brandywine Zoo a couple of weekends ago:


Wilmington Wild )
littlereview: (jewitch)
O Captain! My Captain! )

It has been a depressing day. I took Adam to his last orthodontist check-up -- he was told to wear his retainers a few times a week, call if anything feels different, be careful with his teeth, get regular dental exams -- but that good news was overshadowed by the news that Dr. Morgenstein, the dentist for whom we joined the practice, whom my kids saw for over 15 years, had died a few weeks earlier. He only retired several months ago; I guess he knew he was ill, but intended to keep working part-time.

My afternoon was uneventful -- son went to the pool, I did some shopping, bought a cheap dress for the beach and some Bath & Body Works stuff -- but we all came home to the news about Robin Williams, which was not yet being reported as a suicide. Paul and I were first-generation Mork and Mindy watchers and fans of both his comedy routines and his movies -- Dead Poets Society, The Fisher King, Good Will Hunting are iconic among our friends.

So dinner was quiet, and son spent the evening at a party for a friend who's leaving early for college. Paul and I watched Aladdin long-distance with Cheryl, though we discovered halfway through that our DVD is damaged and won't play certain sections (how this happened, I don't know, because during the era when the kids were watching the movie over and over, we were still watching on VHS). Now I have Happy Feet on because it's also a happy Robin Williams movie.


A pigeon who visited us walking to the Air & Space Museum on Sunday.
littlereview: (jewitch)
After Mandelshtam )

I had a nice day with my family -- once Adam got back from his movie night sleepover, we picked up my parents and all six of us went downtown to the Air & Space Museum, primarily to see the D-Day IMAX, which is a bit bloodless in every way -- it's meant to be kid-friendly, so parts of the story are depicted as a (very well-designed in 3-D) pop-up book and parts are portrayed in black and white sketches, so there's no real sense of the carnage -- but it covers the planning of the attack and the reasons for how it was carried out very well. We also went to see some of our favorite galleries on the planets and early aviation.


Air and Space )


For dinner we went to Il Porto, where I had cheese ravioli and too much sangria so forgive me if I am not entirely coherent! Adam had the gnocchi, which I had last time we were there, and I traded a bit with him. We got Daniel back to College Park for the work week, Adam collapsed after his hectic Sunday, Os and Nats both lost, Paul and I and watched Last Week With John Oliver and Masters of Sex (the latter just keeps getting better). Plus we kept running outside to see whether the supermoon was high enough in the sky to see from our neighborhood yet!
littlereview: (get critical)
The White Fires of Venus )

I had a lot of entertainment on Saturday -- we took Daniel to see Guardians of the Galaxy, which Adam had already seen, so he went to SplashDown with friends -- and we finished our evening with some baseball around the first episode of Outlander, which I really enjoyed as well. In between, however, we had some excitement, as Adam cut his chin open climbing onto a slide at the water park and called us as we were stopping at the food store to tell us that the park first aid clinic said he needed stitches when he got home.

So after a quick visit from my parents for a consultation about whether they thought we needed to wait for a plastic surgeon, I took Adam to Suburban Hospital while Paul made dinner with Daniel. Fortunately, the emergency room was very quiet -- only two other patients were there while we were, both sitting up and talking to relatives, which hopefully meant nothing serious -- and son only needed four stitches, which will come out before we go to the beach at the end of next week. Here he is looking his best!



I had read some race-and-gender griping about Guardians on Tumblr and was pleasantly surprised -- still too many heroines-forged-in-victimhood and hooker jokes, but there were people of color who were not blue or green and a Bechdel pass, plus Glenn Close as a planetary leader! As for Outlander, I've never read any of the books (supernatural romance tends to irritate me), but I like the actress playing Claire -- she reminds me a bit of Cate Blanchett -- and apart from some romance-y schlocky dialogue, it was well done.
littlereview: (trek)
Beyond the Years )

I had a good, busy Friday -- writing a review of Deep Space Nine's "Valiant", then going to retrieve Daniel from College Park while his apartment is repainted and cleaned. We saw an unnerving number of fire trucks -- two on the Beltway cleaning up an accident that created lots of traffic, at least eight at the 4-H building at the University of Maryland for reasons we never discovered, and a couple on our cul-de-sac in the afternoon apparently because of a neighbor's health crisis.

The weather was gorgeous and despite all the trucks we saw a couple of bunnies. We had dinner at my parents' and watched a bit of the Nationals game (they lost but the Orioles won, yay), then came home and watched Flight, which was not remotely like the action movie we'd seen advertised -- it's a superbly acted but quite sad drama about addiction and how people cope with terrible life crises. Here are a few more lotuses in bloom at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens a couple of weeks ago:


Lotus Blossoms )
littlereview: (photos)
The Writer )

My Thursday was pretty uneventful. Hubby worked from home, son went to lunch and shopping with my mother and taught himself to juggle before going out to dinner with friends. I got a bunch of stuff done, including folding laundry while watching the first episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender because I've forgotten too much of the first season to watch the second without a rewatch.

It was a five-bunny day, including one on the lawn of the house next door, and gorgeous weather -- it has dropped into the 60s now! We had caramel and lemongrass tofu for dinner and watched the Ravens play football for a while -- I am not ready for fall so this was somewhat depressing, though they won by a lot -- plus the DS9 episode I need to review. Some pictures from Poplar Spring's open house:


Animal Sanctuary )
littlereview: (green little review)
What Is True )

I had a busy, quiet morning while Adam worked in our neighbor's yard. Then he came home around lunchtime and we went to Tara Thai, chosen in part because of its proximity to Target. We had green curry tofu and veggie pad see ew, then we spent $80,000 on stuff for college...okay, that is a slight exaggeration, but it felt like it! Target is offering $5 off for people who spend $25 on school supplies, which is nice, but we also had to get things like laundry detergent and a dustpan and a Swiss army knife.

It was much nicer out than Tuesday (though only a one-deer, two-bunny day). We had homemade macaroni and cheese with veggie sausage for dinner, then we were going to watch a movie with Adam, but he got a better offer and went to hang out with a bunch of friends -- he has been making movies with them when they all have days off, including one in which he tries to give himself a concussion on a jungle gym -- so Paul and I watched Extant and Teen Wolf without him. Blooming at Longwood:


Flowers (And Some Insects) )
littlereview: (green little review)
The Survivors )

All day Tuesday I kept thinking it was Monday since Monday felt like Sunday. As it happened, Adam never came home on Monday night -- as soon as we got back from Longwood Gardens, he went to a party at a friend's and ended up sleeping over another friend's, then got back here at 9:30 in the morning and promptly fell asleep for five hours, since apparently sleeping in the car yesterday did not compensate for pretty much not sleeping at all last night. So I did laundry and various thrilling chores like that.

When Adam finally woke up, he needed a ride to yet another friend's house where they are working on a movie project, so I dropped him off there, then stopped at AC Moore which is full of Halloween stuff! He briefly returned home for dinner, then went out again, this time to see a late show of Guardians of the Galaxy. Here are a few photos of Monkeys Grasp for The Moon by Xu Bing at the Sackler Gallery, a barrel of monkeys created from letters suspended dozens of feet through the gallery's multi-level stairwell:


Grasping for the Moon )
littlereview: (jewitch)
The Falling Leaves )

Another quickie -- I spent Monday in the Brandywine Valley with Adam, Paul, and Cheryl, first at the Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington where we saw many animals -- though not the monkeys or reptiles, since the roof of their building was crushed by a falling tree and though the animals are all fine, they are not on display -- then at Longwood Gardens, where new elevated wooden walkways through the wetlands lead to new trails through the garden. There are of course thousands of flowers in the outdoor beds and the conservatory, plus we went to the Festival of Fountains -- the musical fountain show and the many fountains around the grounds. Will post pics of animals and flowers during the week, here we are enjoying!


Brandywine Valley )
littlereview: (Default)
Extreme quickie, have been downtown with Paul and Cheryl mostly at art museums -- the Freer and Sackler Galleries for Off the Beaten Path: Early Works by James McNeill Whistler, An American in London: Whistler and the Thames, and the Peacock Room, then the National Gallery of Art for Degas/Cassatt, Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In, Celebrating Van Gogh, Titian’s Danaë from the Capodimonte Museum, Naples, and The Color of Nature: Recent Acquisitions of Landscape Watercolors. Then we walked through the garden behind the Smithsonian Castle and saw The Lost Bird Project.

After that, we drove to Lubber Run Amphitheater to picnic and to see Laurie Rose Griffith and Peter Mealy, who were great -- they played some of their own songs, plus some Dave Matthews, Paul Simon, and various other singers -- plus we got to walk along the creek before the concert. And then we came home and watched The Emperor's New Groove and Kronk's New Groove (we had never seen the latter and hadn't seen the former in over a decade). Tomorrow we are going to gardens and hoping the weather behaves! Here are couple of pics...more during the week!


DC )
littlereview: (Default)
Poem 49 )

Paul and I got up early and spent a lovely morning and afternoon at the zoo! We wanted to go before the lion cubs got too big -- Nababeip has two cubs and her sister Shera has four, all fathered by Luke, and the entire family has been playing together outdoors in the great cat enclosure. Of course we also went to see Bao Bao, the baby panda, who was already up in the tree where apparently she likes to spend so many hours that the keepers are trying to find ways to bribe her down.


Circle of Life )


Since we had brought a picnic, we also visited pretty much every other animal at the zoo -- the great cats, the reptile house, the small mammal house, Amazonia, the orangutans on their high wire, the North American trail, ending up at the bird house for the feeding of the black-crowned night herons who summer nearby (and who have to be fed or they steal the zoo birds' food). By then we had gotten a lot of sun, so we came home, saw part of the Nationals win, and watched the terrible Sharktopus sequel!
littlereview: (trek)
Ennui )

This whole week has been one giant experience in "where did today go and how did I not get more done?" I have finished most of the things I had to do, which on Friday was a review of Deep Space Nine's "The Reckoning", one of my favorite episodes, but the laundry has been sitting glaring at me waiting to be folded for two days, and I don't even have the excuse of having gone to pick up older son from College Park this week because he's staying over since it's the move in-and-out transition weekend in his apartment complex and he wants to make sure his stuff stays where he wants it.

I did briefly see Adam in between his sleepover and his biking trip to a local park, then again for dinner -- my parents took us to Founding Farmers, which was delicious as always, then we came back here for cheesecake, though Adam was already gone again to go running on the track with a friend. And I went food shopping with Paul and took a quick walk, though it was a one-bunny day. And the Orioles won after a late-night heartbreaker on Thursday! Here are some photos from Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary during the Montgomery County Farm Tour last weekend -- look, pigs and sheep and ducklings!


Rescued Animals )
littlereview: (photos)
Dolphinating )

I did not get ANYTHING ANYTHING ANYTHING done on Thursday that I intended to -- okay, I got some photos uploaded and I got some crazy online stuff done, but I didn't fold the laundry or do any cleaning or even see the deer (I did see bunnies, which has been one lovely feature of this summer -- I don't have to walk for an hour just to find one).

I did have froyo with my mother and an unexpected visit from Adam's ex-girlfriend Maddy, who came looking for him while he was at the pool with other friends; she is a lovely girl and it was nice to see her. And I got DS9 watched to review, and Extant, which has good acting but needs better-paced scripts. National Aquarium Jellyfish Invasion:


Jellies )

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