littlereview: (little review)
As you can see from the photos, we have been up late playing Doctor Who Yahtzee so I will keep this brief! We saw Mockingjay, Part 2, which I liked very much -- it's a pretty faithful adaptation from the book, so some of the things I didn't love in print remained on film, though I think the performances improve several of the characters and I totally ship Haymitch/Effie -- and we had dinner with my parents, then watched Doctor Who because other people wanted to (still meh) and the season finale of The Last Kingdom (which I rather enjoyed apart from women dying to explore Man Pain). My kids return to Seattle and College Park on Sunday, so more when I am caught up!

Saturday )
littlereview: magical healing colours of glastonbury mandala by fiona stolze (trek)
A Jelly-Fish )

Paul and I both had to work in the morning -- I posted a review of Voyager's just-as-good-as-I-remembered "Dreadnought", both Adam and Daniel slept late -- then after lunch we drove Daniel to Baltimore to see friends from college and took Adam with us to the National Aquarium, since he hadn't been there since the new touch tanks opened. We got to see all the eels who are usually hiding and the puffins have babies!

National Aquarium )

We went to Blu Bambu for stir fry and bubble tea, then we walked around the Inner Harbor to meet Daniel with his friends at the Kona Grill. It's been unseasonably warm and beautiful for November, a great night for a walk. When we came home, we finally watched last week's Doctor Who, which made me feel...nothing. I was telling a certain character to shut up already. I think I'm done with the show; I don't want to start to hate it.
littlereview: (jewitch)
Try to Praise the Mutilated World )

I had a reasonably low-key and nice Thanksgiving with my kids, parents, in-laws, and my parents' long-time friend Ruth, who hosts us to break the fast after Yom Kippur. We all slept late -- well, after cats were fed and let us go back to sleep -- and watched most of the Macy's parade. Paul's parents arrived after lunch; we worked on their Christmas letter for a bit while watching Detroit beat Philadelphia and UConn lose to Syracuse.

Then we went to my parents' house and ate an enormous amount (for me it was cheese and crackers, fruit salad, veggie turkey and stuffing, carrot souffle, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberries, apple pie, and chocolate roll -- most others had actual turkey). Everything was delicious. Eventually we made our way home, watched Elementary, and tried to figure out our schedule for Saturday when Daniel wants to visit friends in Baltimore!

Holiday Dinner )
littlereview: (green little review)
Thanks )

Happy Thanksgiving! I spent Wednesday morning working on a review of Voyager's "Dreadnought" so I don't have to work on Friday (even on a rewatch, when Chakotay was saying "I'm not leaving you!", what he meant was, "I love you!"). We all had a complicated lunch trying to keep two kittens off of three bagels. Then after a bunch of other chores, we drove to College Park, where we picked up Adam to bring home for the long weekend (we gave Christine a ride too).

We stopped at D.P. Dough for calzones to bring home for dinner and Christine played with the kittens while we ate. Then, after Adam drove her home, we watched Starter for 10, which has an entire generation of British actors in its cast (McAvoy, Corden, Hall, Tate, Cumberbatch, Cooper, et al). It's a very blokey story but well-acted and has an awesome soundtrack. We also watched a bit of a special on Einstein, but scientist son declared it mediocre, so now we're bonding over nuColbert!

Family and Cats )
littlereview: (green little review)
Danse Russe )

Mostly my day involved household chores, hanging out with Daniel (except when he was at lunch with my father, when I had lunch with Paul), playing with kittens who also got to play with some neighbors and friends, and finishing our binge-watch of The Man in the High Castle, which ended on, like, six cliffhangers so there better be another season, yet was entirely satisfying in almost every way besides. I'm not sure how much I can say without spoiling things but I ended up rooting for a character I would have sworn I couldn't root for to do anything except die, and for once I didn't feel manipulated by a love triangle. Tonight's Limitless ("Arm-ageddon") had lots of awesome, hilarious gimmicks and a genuinely surprising oh-no development, but was not even close to The Man in the High Castle. Here are some photos from last spring at Brookside Gardens when the azaleas were in full bloom:

Brookside Last Spring )
littlereview: (Default)
The Banjo Player )

It should be obvious by now that for a couple of weeks this journal is mostly going to be family and kittens -- less family this year, since my sister's family isn't coming from New York for Thanksgiving because her daughters haven't been home since they left for college and Israel respectively at the end of the summer, but I have Daniel here now and Adam arriving in two days. Daniel is working remotely this week, so I went to Bagel City to get food for him and to CVS to get another blanket for kittens who like curling up on fuzzy fleece and we all had lunch together, including Paul who worked from home as well.

We watched two more episodes of The Man in the High Castle, which is terrific -- different from the book, which I don't remember in that much detail, but I often find Dick pretentious and misogynistic so I wasn't likely to be upset about changes anyway, and the characters are mostly complicated and interesting while the plot is really chilling (more interesting to me than Philip Roth's version). Tonight we got the Supergirl and Legends postponed because of the events in Paris, plus Minority Report which is building its arc wonderfully and it's so sad that the season finale will be the end! Summer at Huntley Meadows:

Summer Wetlands )
littlereview: (green little review)
My Old Football )

I spent Sunday with my family, though since Daniel slept till nearly two, the first half of it was mostly catching up on all the things from which kittens have distracted me! We had brunch, watched half of the Redskins loss and the end of the Ravens bittersweet victory, then went over to my parents' for hors d'oeuvres and dinner plus the Green Bay game and as much of the Seahawks game as we could get locally.

There was a gorgeous sunset and we saw deer both munching the neighbor's yard and walking through the woods. After dinner we came home, caught up on Madam Secretary which remains my favorite thing on network TV, and watched episodes three and four of The Man in the High Castle, which thus far is completely gripping and really well acted. Some photos from Homestead Farm's harvest last month:

Late Season Fruit )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Why is Quiet 'Kept'? )

Daniel is home! And most of our day was spent cleaning the house in preparation for this, since the kittens have been living mostly in his room -- we had to clean it thoroughly, and wash all the things they've been sleeping on, which includes everything on his bed, and we had to vacuum the entire house to clean up the litter they kicked out of the pan. For now we are keeping a litterbox in the master bathroom just in case, but they've been good downstairs.

We picked up Daniel from Dulles and stopped at the food store on the way home because he was ravenous. For the past hour he has been trying to eat, catch up on work (he is on call this week despite being on the east coast) and stop kittens from both stealing his food and walking all over his keyboard. The kittens do not appreciate Saturday Night Live but they do like all the new smells son brought home with him. Here are pics of them and other cats glaring at them:

Kittens and Family )
littlereview: magical healing colours of glastonbury mandala by fiona stolze (trek)
Refugee Blues )

My house is full of miniature attack demons who come flying out of nowhere and pounce, swat and hiss at all longtime residents. Worse, it is no longer to confine them to just the upstairs because Effie has discovered that she can go flying over the barrier and down the stairs, meaning that unless we lock them in one room, which probably signifies doom for that room, they have the full run of the house at all times. Poor Cinnamon may never stop yowling!

Apart from posting a review of Voyager's "Meld", the highlights of my day included a trip to Petco to get more kitty litter, a stop at Target to pick up Adele's album with their three exclusive bonus tracks, and dinner at my parents' house. Later we watched Maryland beat Rider and Michigan lose to Xavier, then caught up on Thursday's Sleepy Hollow with all its lovely Ichabbie and Mills Sisters. Some photos from harvest season at Homestead Farm last month:

A Homestead Fall )
littlereview: (green little review)
Landscape )

Thanksgiving is still a week away, but I can tell that it's going to be difficult because some members of my family are not speaking to other members -- they actually run out of the room when others show up -- while younger members show absolutely no respect to their elders and at times hiss and swat them for no good reason. The oldest family member wants nothing more than to hide down the basement, except she can't figure out how to open the baby gate, and the youngest has decided she owns the place and keeps stealing food off everyone else's dish.

In other words, we let the kittens run loose through two floors of the house today, since once they're down the stairs, there's no way to confine them to a particular room. (Thus far we have been able to use poster board to keep them out of the basement but that won't trick them for long.) Katniss has apparently decided to run for Alpha Cat and has been hissing at both Cinnamon and Daisy -- the former hissed back for the first time ever, while the latter growled and hid under the dining room table, spending much of the day looking miserable.

It rained all day, though it was unseasonably warm so we had the windows open. The kittens are very excited to see squirrels outside, and the chipmunks aren't hibernating yet -- nor are the crickets, who are still chirping as I type this! That is supposed to change this weekend, sadly. The kittens were reasonably impressed with Heroes Reborn, which I am very bummed to lose for a month and a half, but we were on the phone with my in-laws during Sleepy Hollow so I missed it, and we put the fiends to bed during Elementary. On Catoctin:

Catoctin and Cunningham Falls )
littlereview: (jewitch)
The Problem of Hands )

My Wednesday was quiet -- well, except when my housemates were growling, hissing, meowing, or clawing the carpet to establish whose territory was whose! We let the kittens wander loose around the upstairs, creating a barrier with cardboard that Daisy managed to jump over but the kittens haven't tried to get past, and while the cats and kittens were clearly nervous and displeased to see each other, there were no attacks or hiding. So I am cautiously optimistic that everyone will learn to get along.

[profile] apaulled worked from home so we could continue to acclimate the kittens and we got haircuts together after lunch, plus went to the bank, CVS, and the food store (how romantic, I know!). We had the kittens in the big cage for a while watching Arrow and Nashville plus NOVA's "Making North America: Humans" (they were more interested in bobcats than in John Barrowman, and wound up back upstairs after meowing to protest their confinement). Harvest season at Longwood Gardens:

Autumnal Longwood )
littlereview: (get critical)
The King Sends Three Cats to Guinevere )

Paul worked from home so we could work on getting the cats and kittens integrated -- older son is coming home for Thanksgiving, so the kittens can't be living nearly full time in his room by then (the litterbox at least must be moved). Daisy still has moments of hissing even though the kittens have not been out of the big cage in the living room and Katniss is trying very hard to escape, but things seem to be moving in a positive direction.

We caught up on Once Upon a Time, which is giving the women a lot to do this season but whyyy do Arthur and Guinevere have to be the villains and whyyy am I supposed to believe Hook is Emma's great love when he can't even act it? The Flash did some nice stuff, Agents of SHIELD actually really rocked for a change, but Limitless is so hilariously creative that it's rapidly becoming my favorite Tuesday show! Locust Grove just a couple of weeks ago:

Locust Grove )
littlereview: (get critical)
Tango Dancer )

I had a lovely Monday with Cheryl and the kitties! After playing with kittens, we went to California Tortilla for lunch, then went to the holiday boutique at Washington Hebrew, where we saw my mom plus various friends, looked at lots of jewelry, and gifts and Cheryl bought a wall hanging. Then we came back to my house, brought the kittens downstairs to the cage, and watched Soapdish and Tropic Thunder (look, it was an RDJ mock-the-industry day) and played with the kittens some more!

My two usual Monday night shows pre-empted their planned episodes in sympathy with the victims of the Paris attacks; Supergirl ran its Thanksgiving episode early, postponing a story with a bombing, while Legends reran the season premiere, postponing a story with mass murder in Paris. So we watched Minority Report, which I will miss so much when it's gone in two weeks, and Blindspot, which I am enjoying though it needs more women interacting. Fall color from last year on Skyline Drive:

In the Mountains )
littlereview: (photos)
Do What Now )

It was even warmer and sunnier on Sunday than on Saturday, though we spent the morning mostly indoors with cats after borrowing a large cage from younger son's friend Jamie, who sometimes fosters kittens and had visited when the kittens were first here bottle-feeding. We kept the kittens in the living room a couple of times today so that they could get used to being there and our cats could get used to having them, although Daisy is still growling.

Since it was likely my last chance to wear shorts outdoors this year, we went to Great Falls after lunch, walking a couple of miles down the towpath, though the leaves are mostly gone (see photos). Then we had crock pot chili for dinner, watched some football -- this is a very weird season, DC played well while Baltimore blew it -- and played with kittens some more during Madam Secretary and John Oliver mocking the British Museum's colonial plundering.

Season Turning Great Falls )
littlereview: (green little review)
How to Love )

Saturday had gorgeous sunny weather, so after a morning reading the news (sad) and playing with cats (happy), we had lunch and went to two of the county parks through which Rock Creek runs -- Lake Needwood, where we saw woodpeckers, dancing squirrels, and a deer, and Meadowside Nature Center, where we saw the raptors and reptiles inside and walked along the creek as the sun was starting to go down. Four pics of each:

Rock Creek Parks )

This evening we put the kittens in carriers so we could put them in the living room and let them and the cats get used to each other, but the kittens were unhappy with how confined they were, so tomorrow we're borrowing a big cage from a friend. They weren't impressed with this week's Doctor Who but neither was I. The Last Kingdom was actually more engaging, but Uhtred has to stop making dumb decisions!
littlereview: magical healing colours of glastonbury mandala by fiona stolze (trek)
France, the 18th year of These States )

The kittens are adorable and seem to be settling in very well. I stayed in their room a lot of the day and worked on a review of Voyager's just-as-atrocious-as-ever "Threshold". We had a very nice dinner with my parents and caught up on Blindspot. But my thoughts are with Paris, so here are some photos of Notre Dame from when we visited last spring.

Our Lady of Paris )
littlereview: (photos)
The Cat and the Moon )

I spent most of Thursday settling these girls into their new home, which involved a lot of playing with fuzzy toys, several minutes of convincing Daisy and Cinnamon that they didn't need to stand outside in the hall hissing, and quite a while visiting with friends who wanted to meet the new residents, including our neighbor Rose, who brought even more presents! Plus we had dinner at California Tortilla with Angela and Kevin, who then came over to play with the kittens!

Playful Kitties )

In between playing with the kittens and consoling the cats, who needed extra attention, we watched Heroes Reborn, which I am really enjoying so I am sad to see that its ratings are probably not going to get it picked up. Sleepy Hollow is mostly awesome fun this season, and Elementary is better than last season though it still doesn't have the energy of its first season -- less arc, more individual stories (and the occasional non-murder case!) would be most welcome.
littlereview: (jewitch)
Haiku )

Remember these kittens that Heather found on her porch? They are currently upstairs asleep (or maybe not asleep) in Daniel's bedroom. The foster mom, Christina, hadn't had any luck finding someone to adopt them because she really felt they should stay together as a pair -- since they were bottle-fed by a human since they were very young, they bonded with her and with each other, and they aren't staying with her -- so although originally I'd thought we would keep one kitten and Heather the other, Christina brought them both here and while Daisy is highly indignant and hid for a while, everyone seems fine so far!

Bigger Kittens )

We are naming the feisty one Katniss and the wary one Effie. They both have very loud purrs and are completely adorable. I know we were meant to have these kittens because my neighbor Rose, who lost her cat two days ago and had no idea that we were considering getting kittens, emailed to say that she wanted to give us her cat's brand new cat bed, toys, and cans of food since Adam was such a friend to her cat. She and her boyfriend came over tonight with everything and played with the kittens, so everyone is happier! I only half-watched Nashville and a show on geology because I was distracted but it's all good!
littlereview: (jewitch)
Discovery )

I had quite a nice Tuesday despite spending more than an hour of it standing in the rain, since I was among friends in a happy, uplifting crowd. The hatemongers from Westboro Baptist Church had announced plans to protest at my high school -- the same high school from which Adam graduated 30 years after I did -- because the school has a LGBT student group, and though the principal had requested that there not be a counter-protest for a variety of safety-related reasons, a bunch of parents agreed that we should at least show solidarity with the LGBT kids. We knew the county police would be there so we knew it would be safe for everyone.

So I parked several blocks away, which is necessary during school hours due to parking restrictions, and walked to the school, bumping into several other parents I knew including the mother of one of Adam's high school friends on the way. Once I arrived, I ran into the Hermans, my parents' good friends whom I've known since I was a baby, so I got the added pleasure of getting to catch up with them while people were arriving, blasting Madonna and Sara Bareilles and waving signs (though given the weather, I opted for a rainbow tie-dye skirt and rainbow umbrella). There were a couple hundred of us; there were fewer than five from WBC!

WCHS Wins )

The rest of the day was not nearly as interesting, though Paul was working from home so at least I got to see him. I did work, did chores, folded laundry while catching up on Once Upon a Time, and eventually had dinner, before which we watched this week's Flash (so glad Harrison isn't dead in all universes), Agents of SHIELD (I knew they'd do that to May, and oh, come on, Coulson, ICK!), and Limitless (better every week, especially the women characters). We are sad because our neighbor's cat, whom she's had since our kids were small, has died...but tomorrow we may be getting back Heather's rescue kittens!
littlereview: (jewitch)
The Envoy )

It was a dark, rainy Monday during which I did nothing but chores -- the high point of my day was uploading photos to Flickr, if that gives you some idea. Tuesday will have more excitement, but not in a good way: Westboro Baptist is planning to protest at WCHS, my and Adam's high school, because they have a LGBT student group, so those of us in the community are planning to stand between the hatemongers and the students at dismissal.

We had black pepper chick'n and potatoes for dinner, then we watched Supergirl, which makes up for its moments of fluff with hilarious dialogue -- "Keeping Up with the Kryptonians," "Millennial Falcon," even a Russell Crowe joke! And I am sad Minority Report is already getting yanked, but there was a great Bones Hitchcock-parody rerun which made me think I should watch the show. Here's some more Huntley Meadows wildlife:

Happy at Huntley Meadows )


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