littlereview: (green little review)
Prayer )

We had another quiet morning, so I installed Windows 10 onto my desktop because I've been very happy with it on my laptops and tweaked the settings (I have Cortana turned off everywhere, and it boots faster and locks up less often than before). Then we had eggs and potatoes for brunch and went to Brookside Gardens to see the butterflies at Wings of Fancy and the turtles, frogs, swallows, and lots of other pond life as well as summer flowers in the garden:


Butterflies and Pond Life )


Because my parents hadn't seen Adam in a while since he was in College Park, we had dinner with them, then came home and watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with both Adam and Cheryl long distance -- still my favorite of the movies stylistically, though the screenplay has some inexplicable holes that a few seconds' worth of dialogue from the books could have fixed ("Who wrote the Marauders' Map?" etc.). The casting is pretty wonderful.
littlereview: (get critical)
The Summer of Reconciliation )

Adam left orders that no one was to wake him before afternoon, so we had a quiet morning -- I was fiddling with Windows 10 settings and trying to finish chores that got postponed while I was installing it. When Adam emerged from catching up on his sleep, we had lunch and went to Riley's Lock, where we saw several herons, turtles, ducks, frogs, dragonflies, butterflies, and people enjoying the river. Afterward we stopped at Homestead Farm to get peaches and blackberries, so we also went to visit the goats, chickens, and pigs:


Canal and Farm )


Paul made ratatouille and corn from the farm for Lughnasadh, then Adam went out to visit friends and play games. Meanwhile Paul and I caught up on Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (which I am told is only the end of the first season but isn't that how the book ends?). Then we watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets long-distance with Cheryl, since she and I have decided it's time for a rewatch of the whole series -- this one is probably my least favorite story-wise, but it has Lucius Malfoy!
littlereview: (trek)
Daytime Begins with a Line by Anna Akhmatova )

Both my laptops are now running Windows 10 -- I had to create an installation drive and erase everything off the ASUS Transformer to install it on that one's very small hard drive, but it's working and I was even able to restore MS Office despite the fact that the laptop didn't come with discs. So I feel accomplished, and so far pretty much everything I need is working, apart from some niggling things like not getting printer notifications (I can scan and print, which are more important). I chatted with Daniel tonight about various issues we were both having uninstalling Microsoft's new apps, but for the most part I really like Windows 10.

While Windows was installing on my ASUS, I finished a review of Voyager's "Learning Curve" and did various chores which included Adam's laundry after Paul and I picked him up in College Park, utterly exhausted after a week of being an R.A. for high school students while finishing a summer geography class to free him up for engineering classes in the fall. He has worked hard all summer! In the evening Cheryl and I decided we should watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in honor of Harry's birthday. Here for nostalgia's sake are some photos of this spring's cherry blossoms downtown:


From the Spring )
littlereview: (green little review)
Spark of the Sky Stag's Great Heart )

I am typing this entry on a laptop running Windows 10! And so far, knock wood, it seems to be working really well, doesn't even crash doing things that used to make it lock up -- the only problem I've had thus far was having to reauthorize Photoshop Elements 8 by downloading a tool from Adobe. This was not, however, the laptop on which I initially tried to install Windows 10 (which is not going on my desktop for months, until I am sure everything will work). I wanted to put it on my convertible laptop, which runs odious Windows 8, so I really wanted to update it as soon as possible because how could Windows 10 be worse? But the install failed three times and I can't figure out why!

Needless to say, all these computer shenanigans took up a lot of my day, which also involved starting a review, having dinner with my parents since we all have plans tomorrow in different places, chatting with Daniel about the Summer Games Done Quick video game charity event, avoiding asshats on Facebook and LiveJournal, watching baseball, watching The Daily and Nightly Shows, and watching a spectacular afternoon thunderstorm that didn't particularly lower temperatures, but led to an evening with lots of cicadas and bunnies and fireflies in evidence, plus a sky that looked stunning while driving home and equally stunning walking around the neighborhood:


Summer Sky )
littlereview: (get critical)
By Spring (Again) )

It is very hot and very humid this week, which is typical but not my favorite weather -- in fact the high point on Wednesday was a big rainstorm that arrived just as I was leaving the post office to send Daniel a package mostly with his Super Mario-Zelda-gaming stuff. I spent most of the afternoon at my parents' house getting them on Flickr, since that is where all my photos are, so they can download the family pics whenever they want. It rained again later but sadly not enough to break the heat -- I only saw one bunny out. Here are some flashback-to-spring photos from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in the rain:


From the Spring )


We had leftover Greek food for dinner, then we watched Chaplin -- shut up, I do not have an RDJ problem, I was watching this for Kevin Kline, Dan Aykroyd, Moira Kelly, okay who am I kidding I have an RDJ problem, but in fairness he is phenomenal in this -- there are actual clips of Chaplin at the end of the film that show just what a terrific impression RDJ has been doing. Considering that I'm a Mack Sennett nerd in the first place (blame Mack and Mabel), I can't believe I avoided it so long just because I didn't like RDJ. Just remind me NOT to rewatch Less Than Zero, which made me dislike him for so long!
littlereview: (get critical)
The Weed )

Tuesday was not particularly a better day than Monday, other than I got to see Adam for three minutes after going to College Park to drop off his belt and some other things that he didn't pack when he left for his week as an R.A. Lots of people I know had annoying things going on in their lives, so I had no one I could whine to. I had a weather headache most of the afternoon, though I did see five bunnies when I went out to walk.

I had laundry to fold, so I watched The Nanny Diaries, which has a terrible script that Johansson, Evans, Linney, and Giamatti can't do a thing to save, so I pretended it was Captain America and Black Widow doing an undercover assignment. Then in the evening we watched I Love You, Man which was better than I was expecting -- not just Paul Rudd but it actually passed the Bechdel test! More of Richmond's Deep Run Park:


Deep Run Park )
littlereview: (get critical)
Watching the Sea Go )

Lots of small, stupid things on Monday did not go as planned, not enough to get cranky about since they're all minor or fixable -- both lunch and dinner plans postponed to different dates, friend sick, laundry washed but not folded because of a problem with a dress that had to be rewashed by hand, pictures not quite fitting in frames, things like that -- but enough to make me think I should turn in early.

High points of day included two bunnies on my walk and a cat who woke me by breathing tuna breath in my face. We watched The Soloist, in which RDJ gives a good performance and Jamie Foxx gives an exceptional performance (the screenplay's a bit uneven but I appreciated the directing, since so many movies about mental illness end up feeling over-the-top trying to portray it). Seattle's Discovery Beach:


West Beachfront )
littlereview: (photos)
Toy Cloud )

Paul and I had a nice day in Richmond with Cheryl, beginning with a walk around the big central pond at Deep Run Park, where we saw lots of frogs, a snake, a skink, some fish, and many dragonflies, plus flowering crepe myrtle and gorgeous green trees, then eating lunch at India K' Raja, which we visited a long time ago with Cheryl and which still has fantastic food, including a big lunch buffet with lots of vegetarian dishes plus mango iced tea and several desserts.


Deep Run Park )


Then we went to see Mr. Holmes, which has a fantastic cast and gorgeous cinematography -- everyone I know who has seen it wants to move into that house -- and while the plot and structure are somewhat predictable, it's worth seeing just to watch McKellen, Linney, Allam, and the rest. We met Lin for the movie and afterward we all went to Baskin Robbins. We returned to Cheryl's to collect our stuff and say goodbye to her cat (who did not allow us to pet him, though he did the night before).

We drove home in typically slow, annoying I-95 traffic and had a small late dinner while watching Masters of Sex, plowing through the years, which would be fine except the main characters' lack of aging is preposterous. Now we're watching This Week Tonight, in which John Oliver just declared that the US has too many people in prison, enough to populate a whole country, which is not a good idea because the only good thing ever to come out of that experiment was Hugh Jackman and that took 180 years!
littlereview: (little review)
Adam is in College Park for a week teaching high school business students, Daniel had Amazon's company picnic, and Paul and I are in Richmond, where we had dinner with Cheryl and Lin, then went to see Man of La Mancha at the Dogwood Dell's outdoor theater. More tomorrow -- have a good Sunday everyone!

littlereview: (trek)
Before )

I did a lot of work in the morning because I had a busy afternoon schedule -- a dentist appointment (man, I hate those new tooth-polisher-scraper-waterboarding devices they use instead of old-fashioned tools and basins and running water), then meeting friends for what was originally going to be a viewing of Pixels but the terrible reviews persuaded us to change plans, so we went out to dinner with the same friends at the Cheesecake Factory.

Here is my review of Voyager's "Jetrel", one of the episodes I distinctly remembered from its first airing and it holds up really well. We just watched A Scanner Darkly with Adam -- pretty serious crack (literally), but RDJ and Woody Harrelson seem to be having a great time, then talked to Daniel, who has finished his first week at work and is going to a company picnic tomorrow! Here are some photos from Lewis Ginter's spring flower display:


From the Spring )
littlereview: (green little review)
One Shies at the Prospect of Raising Yet Another Defense of Cannibalism )

I got to spend Thursday afternoon with Cheryl eating pizza and watching Mark Ruffalo movies! We went to Blaze in the mall to pick up lunch, then watched Begin Again, Now You See Me, and Rumor Has It -- we also did a lot of contemplation of Paul Simon, since the former is about authenticity among musicians, the middle involves a 59th Street Bridge scene, and the latter is all about The Graduate and "Mrs. Robinson." (I had not seen the latter before and think anyone who'd ever consider Kevin Costner over Mark Ruffalo is crazy no matter what insane family dynamics are involved...and they are insane!)

We finished the shark cupcakes from Sharknado night with Adam and Christine, took a walk to see if we could find bunnies (we saw three), then Cheryl went home and I had dinner with my family before watching the Voyager episode I'm reviewing this week ("Jetrel," one of the best of the first season, especially now that I'm less biased toward all Janeway all the time). I worked on that review for a while before The Daily and Nightly Shows. We are seeing Cheryl again in Richmond this weekend, so in the meantime, here are some photos from the last time we were in Richmond and went to see the butterflies at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden:


Butterflies Alive )
littlereview: (get critical)
Sharks' Teeth )

This will be a quickie because I have spent the past six hours having a Sharknado marathon and am exhausted from the intellectual twists and emotional resonance, particularly the Jesus imagery and birth metaphors, though I am not happy with the network's social media gimmick at the end. We watched the first one with Adam and Christine while we munched on bread, cheese, hummus, pita, and various fish-shaped crackers and candies, and we watched them all with Angela and Kevin, for whom Paul made crab cakes (they provided alcohol, though we did not drink every time we saw a shark or we'd all have been unconscious before the new movie). May we never have the particular POTUS-Veep combination of Oh Hell No! A gratuitous photo from the National Aquarium:


Sharknado! )
littlereview: (green little review)
The Maldive Shark )

My Tuesday was fairly low-key. I did a bunch of chores in the morning, then went to meet Kay for lunch at our usual favorite spot, Tara Thai -- I have two usual favorites there, and I got the one I didn't get the night before for Adam's birthday. Then I did a bit of shopping in the complex where the restaurant is located, waved to the geese, and ducked back into the air conditioning out of the heat. After dinner (Belgian waffles, since it was Belgian National Day), we watched the end of Tut, which was reasonably entertaining.

The poem above is in honor of the fact that Wednesday is Sharknado 3 day! Yes, I know this is a stupid thing to be excited about, but grant me my pleasures. We are watching with Angela and Kevin while eating shark cupcakes and goldfish crackers, since they have not even seen the first two and obviously we need to remedy that for fans of old sci-fi B movies. In honor of the occasion, since I (thankfully) have never taken a photo of a shark at a seashore I've visited, here are some photos from Seattle's Olympic Beach:


Olympic Beach )
littlereview: (get critical)
The Orange-and-White High-Heeled Shoes )

Monday was Adam's 19th birthday! By this time 19 years ago, he was in the NICU because they were concerned at how low his blood sugar was, and I was begging for broth, jello, anything -- I hadn't eaten anything all day before he was born and we were both very hungry. Today he was extremely busy with summer school, since he has a math final on Friday and two papers to write for his geography class between now and then, so he brought Christine home to study with him. In the late afternoon when I'd finished various chores and Paul got home, we picked up my mother and went to Tara Thai, which was Adam's choice for a birthday dinner (I had panang curry, yay).

Then, since Adam had work to do, I watched Pocahontas with Christine. And when she eventually went home, while Adam went upstairs to finish working on his essay, Paul and I watched the second night of Tut, which remains mediocre yet compelling like Dallas. (As Adam pointed out when he walked through the living room on his way upstairs, the Pharaoh's friend is banging his wife and banging his sister and trying to take his crown? That's, like, three Shakespeare plays in one!) At least the people of color are mostly appropriately cast for a show set in Africa. Meanwhile, Daniel started work at Amazon, where he was fed and issued a new laptop! At the C&O Canal:


Turtle Time )
littlereview: (get critical)
Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond )

It was nearly 100 degrees on Sunday with a heat index of nearly 110, so we spent as little time outside as possible...well, all of us but Adam, who did yard work for two hours for a neighbor and was rewarded by getting to see two teeny bunnies as well as getting paid. (Daniel, who has no air conditioning in Seattle, said the 94 degree temperatures weren't bothering him.)

Because of this weather, we decided the only suitable activity for the afternoon was a trip to the movies. We went with Adam and one of his friends to see Ant-Man, which was a pretty complete delight apart from the usual Marvel problems (undeveloped female characters, atrocious science). It had just enough Avengers connections to make me happy without feeling like it was forced.

I don't mind spoilers, but I'm glad I didn't know about two lovely surprises in Ant-Man (I hadn't even read the cast list). And it's just as well that I didn't know anything about Tut, which we put on for Ben Kingsley and Alexander Siddig and is some highly entertaining crack about Egypt (about as realistic as Ant-Man)! Here are some of the green herons we saw Saturday:


Keeping Cool )
littlereview: (green little review)
Old Wine )

It was nearly 100 degrees on Saturday -- not that I'm complaining, because it's supposed to be over 100 degrees on Sunday and I am going to complain about that. Adam had a lot of homework and spent most of the day working on it, until after dinner when he went to a gathering with a bunch of friends to watch movies and play games.

Paul and I gathered up some things to ship to Daniel, then went to the C&O Canal after lunch for a walk on which we saw many turtles, lots of dragonflies and damselflies, three green herons, a couple of ducks and plenty of songbirds. We spent the evening catching up on Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. From the afternoon:


Warm by the Canal )
littlereview: (trek)
Elders )

I had another mostly-work-and-chores day, made more complicated by belated jetlag that made me sleepy pretty much all afternoon. I wrote a review of Star Trek: Voyager's "Faces", in which Roxann Dawson was as good as I'd remembered but the writing really wasn't, and I finished folding the laundry, though a whole bunch is not yet put away.

Adam's girlfriend came over after their calculus exam and came to my parents' house for dinner, where we celebrated Adam' birthday early since he has two classes and a lot of work to do on Monday which is the actual day. Talked briefly to Daniel, who is getting his computer all ready before he starts work. Here are some more pics of Seattle's Alki Beach:


Afternoon Sun )
littlereview: (get critical)
The wall hanging I never noticed )

Not a lot of excitement to report from Thursday -- I only left the house to go grocery shopping! And I still have laundry to fold and some minor unpacking to do, like putting my jewelry away. (Such are my priorities that I got my photos from Seattle uploaded -- and put family photos into the reunion Shutterfly collection for west coast relatives -- before putting all the clothes away.)

Adam brought his girlfriend home to study for their calculus test on Friday, and, after dinner, they decided to watch Wimbledon, so of course I had to watch with them. Then Adam went to study some more while Paul and I watched the season premiere of Masters of Sex, which was really not a happy episode. Some photos from Olympic Beach's fishing pier, the ferry, and the visitor station:


Olympic Beach )
littlereview: (little review)
We are home after getting Daniel's groceries into his pantry and arriving at the airport for a delayed flight (which meant we got to have bagels for lunch at Sea-Tac, and we watched The Judge using United's free app on the plane, which did nothing to alleviate my RDJ problem). We even got to see Adam briefly, since he was up late doing homework. More tomorrow since we haven't unpacked a thing -- here are three more views of Mount Rainier from the windshield, the side vehicle mirror, and the airport:


Glaciers on Volcano )
littlereview: (jewitch)
I would like to announce that I have seen enough of Fry's Electronics for a while -- on Tuesday we had to go back again to exchange Daniel's msata drive (I think that's what it was!). Before that, we took him to the MVA to get a Washington State ID -- he isn't getting a driver's license since he won't have a car -- and to Best Buy to pick up his TV and microwave. After that, we spent several hours in his apartment putting together and setting up his electronics. We had a late lunch -- carryout from local sandwich shops.

After going to the bank to change Daniel's accounts, we walked through Seattle Center to get back to the car, then fought rush hour traffic to spend a little time at Alki Beach. We had to stop at Fry's and at Target again before they closed, so for dinner we ended up eating mostly leftover Thai food (still awesome) and missing most of the All-Star Game. On Wednesday, after getting Daniel set up with groceries, we fly home! A few photos from the beach, plus the EMP Museum, International Fountain, and me punch-drunk and hungry shopping!


Seattle Shops and Shore )

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