littlereview: (get critical)
Sharks' Teeth )

I should write a better entry and post better photos, but I needed a shark, and I am limp with laughter and somewhat dizzy from Sharknado 2: The Second One, which in fact is even more hilarious than the first (we watched the rerun of that too beforehand). The special effects in the sequel are not quite as godawful, which was part of the charm of the original, but the number of cameos and terrible homages to classic science fiction more than make up for it -- I don't want to spoil anyone who hasn't seen it but everything from The Twilight Zone to Star Wars to Airplane ends up in there.

Is there any point in mentioning the science? Not unless you're playing a drinking game, though if you drink every time something unrealistic happens, you'll be unconscious before the first hour is over. And as terrible as most of the acting is, let alone the dialogue, the female characters are no sillier than the men (in several cases they're much better problem-solvers), and both Sharknado films pass the Bechdel Test, which I hope makes Joss Whedon and The Avengers feel ashamed. Also, the Rob Lowe Shark Week jumping-the-shark commercial is a thing of beauty. From National Aquarium's Blacktip Reef:


Shark(nado)! )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Brokeheart: Just like that )

Tuesday was no more exciting around here than Monday apart from continuing magnificent weather that made me not want to do anything but take walks and see the bunnies and deer and enjoy it. I got some boring stuff done, but the only real entertainment didn't arrive till late afternoon when Amazon.com delivered my Blu-Ray of Noah, whose special features I have not had time to watch yet. Younger son was out with friends from a hike in the morning through lunch and dinner and he is still not home, so I don't even know what he was doing.

We were talking about going to see Signature's production of Sunday in the Park With George, though it's kind of expensive, so we figured we'd get the DVD of the original Broadway production out of the library and see if that inspired us one way or another, so we watched that in the evening. Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters are wonderful in it, as is the supporting cast -- what a treat to see Brent Spiner singing again -- and there are many lovely, creative staging decisions in that initial presentation, plus a lot of visual humor.

The Orioles won! And speaking of Baltimore, here are some photos from the National Aquarium's relatively new Blacktip Reef, which replaced the big shark-and-ray exhibit in the central main floor tank; in addition to blacktip sharks, the beautiful (though hard to photograph because of lighting) reef has rays, puffers, wrasses, unicornfish, a three-flippered sea turtle, even Dory and Nemo (which are apparently now the scientific names of blue tangs and clownfish even among kids who don't otherwise speak English):


Sharks in the Water )
littlereview: (get critical)
Gacela of Unforseen Love )

My Monday involved laundry and other completely uninteresting things. Apart from magnificent weather -- we had a gorgeous breeze and though the temperatures were in the low 80s, it never felt like it -- there was nothing really notable about it. I did see five bunnies in the neighborhood, but I am pleased to report that this summer, that has happened more than once! Adam had to do a mandatory drugs-and-alcohol online mini-course for the University of Maryland, which took up a lot of his afternoon, though he went to the gym beforehand and biking and hiking at Carderock afterward.

Since Adam was home in the evening, we watched The Darjeeling Limited (and short prequel Hotel Chevalier). As with most Wes Anderson movies, I think Adam liked it better than I did. The visuals as always are stunning, but the female characters are even flimsier than usual, and India apparently exists so white people can have epiphanies there. I wish Anderson would direct films written by someone else! Here are photos of the Australia exhibit at the National Aquarium, which contains many of my favorite Australians (apart from Geoffrey Rush, Hugh Jackman, et al):


Australia in Baltimore )
littlereview: (green little review)
The Maldive Shark )

We have been meaning to visit the National Aquarium in Baltimore since Blacktip Reef opened, and on Sunday we finally got there, though Adam had plans with friends to play volleyball so we went without him. I had been afraid they were enclosing a lot of the big central ray tank, which I loved -- I could stand around it just breathing the smell of the water -- but they've actually improved it, installing a coral reef all around and through it and adding many blacktip sharks, plus dozens of other fish (even "Nemo" and "Dory" as the clownfish and blue tang were being called even by people who otherwise did not speak English).

We did not get to see the baby sloth in the rainforest area because the mom was hiding, but we did see the puffins, flying foxes, crocodiles, many turtles, and a huge variety of fish, coral, jellies, and crustaceans. We also visited the dolphins, whom the aquarium is considering releasing into an ocean holding tank instead of keeping captive marine mammals, which I favor completely. Then we walked over to the terrific Asian fusion restaurant Blu Bambu for dinner before driving Daniel back to College Park, where we took him food shopping, then coming home for Masters of Sex. Just a couple of pics of us and the reef:


Blacktip Reef & Jellyfish )
littlereview: (jewitch)
A Tyrant Seeks Conclusion in the Known Self )

Another quickie as we had a busy Saturday! In the morning Daniel went to renew his learner's permit, but due to a variety of crises at the MVA and literally a two-hour wait time, that has been postponed. By the time he was back here after noon, after having left at around 9 a.m., we ate lunch and went on a small corner of the Montgomery County Farm Tour taking place this weekend, visiting two rescue farms, Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary and Star Gazing Farm.

The latter had just closed by the time we got there -- you can see a few of their animals in the last photo below -- but we saw many animals at the former, including sheep, goats, cows, chickens, turkeys, peafowl, guineafowl, pigs, geese, and ducklings! Then we came home for vegetarian chili, Epic Mealtime (the VERY OPPOSITE of rescue farm values), and a visit from a friend of Adam's, and now we are watching the Andrew Garfield SNL rerun!


Rescue Farms )
littlereview: (trek)
O Sun of Real Peace )

Quickie because Adam is out with friends at a free outdoor movie and the rest of us are watching Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which is pretty good -- I like the cast, I wish Keira Knightley had more to do using her brain and less her body, I'm always happy to see Chris Pine as something other than Captain Kirk, and I have always had a soft spot for Costner in spite of everything, plus, you know, Branagh.

The early part of my day was fairly typical, working on a review of a beloved Deep Space Nine episode, "His Way", then going to pick up Daniel early from College Park because he was sick when he woke up and had to take the day off of work. We had dinner with my parents and took a walk when we got home, going to visit our neighbors and their kittens! Some animals at Maymont last month:


Water and Land )
littlereview: (photos)
The World Seems... )

Mostly I did chores and work and laundry on Thursday. Sadly, I did not get nearly all of it done -- well, the work and laundry, mostly yes, but the ongoing clean-up projects, mostly no. (I require Daniel for the renovation project for his room, for instance.) Adam went biking in the late afternoon after spending the early afternoon shopping for a suit with my mother; do not tell me I'm a bad mother for failing to participate, I was not invited.

We had quiche for dinner and Adam went to a friend's while we watched some Crossbones, though we are way behind so I can't have a conversation about it with anyone who's been following. In honor of the frog I saw (as well as several bunnies) while walking, here are some of the animals in the water at Kenilworth Aquatic Garden last weekend, including a Maryland terrapin brought by the park service to educate visitors about their environmental needs:


Swimming at Kenilworth )
littlereview: (get critical)
Epiphenomenon )

I spent hours sorting and rearranging things in my bedroom that no one but me would ever notice had been changed, but I have pretty $1 rainbow-colored glass bottles catching the light in the window now, so I am happy. In other words my day was completely mundane, though there were also bunnies and cats and hair dye (do NOT use that new L'Oreal Preference Mousse, it is the messiest thing ever), and we had pasta with fake chicken for dinner plus ice cream.

Adam went hiking with friends and got sunburned, though he climbed a lot of rocks so he came home happy. We watched Extant, which continues to hold my interest but I feel like the actors (including the very creepy kid) deserve the credit for that far more than the writers; I feel like I'm watching a crossover between Alien 3 only without Sigourney Weaver and Threshold only without Peter Dinklage. Lotus flowers from Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens last weekend:


Lotus Festival )
littlereview: (Default)
The Prayer of the Mothers )

Adam had his pre-college physical exam on Tuesday morning, so we were out of the house bright and early to be at the pediatrician at 9 a.m. even though we are both behind on sleep from the weekend. His checkup went fine, he didn't need shots or anything, but I know I am still overtired, because when he drove us to his friend's house on a gravel road so they could go to Warped Tour at Merriweather Post Pavilion together, I couldn't move the van to leave and thought stones must have gotten wedged in the wheel somehow...long story short, I didn't realize that he had left the parking brake on. *facepalm* At least I got to visit with Adam's friend's mother while waiting for a tow I didn't need!

The rest of my day failed somewhat less: Adam went to the music festival with two friends, one of whom has strep throat and thought (hoped?) he was no longer contagious, and I went to World Market (which did not have the containers that I wanted after seeing them in the sale flyer) and A.C. Moore (which had everything I wanted except any phone/data signal while I was shopping). We had hot dogs and shell noodles for dinner, then watched some Diana Rigg Avengers and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver while waiting for Adam's return -- he had a great time at the concert, met I Fight Dragons. But before that, I had a banner bunny day -- seven rabbits today, plus a pair from yesterday:


Busy Bunny Day )
littlereview: (get critical)
Chloe's Birthday )

I am extremely overtired from being up extremely late because three teenage boys having a sleepover were extremely loud, so I am fuzzy on the details of my Monday. I did laundry, cleaned up various dishes, and spent a couple of hours working on a jewelry project. Adam and his friends eventually woke up and went out to lunch, came home for a bit, then went out in a different configuration to dinner; I took a walk, since the weather is still lovely though getting hotter, and saw deer and bunnies.

Cheryl was passing by on her way home from the Williamstown Theatre Festival, so I convinced her to get off the highway and come out for Chinese food with us. We had a wonderful dinner at Grand Fusion, then finished my chocolate cheesecake from the night before. She headed on home and Paul and I watched Endeavour, which I didn't realize ended its second season in a cliffhanger (a certain character better not die or I'm not coming back next season)! From Friday in College Park:


Five Testudos )
littlereview: (little review)
Fall Parties )

Sunday was Adam's 18th birthday, though we didn't see him until mid-afternoon since he was away most of the weekend on a kayaking trip with other kids from his college program. We had a quiet day otherwise with Daniel, taking him shopping, before we all went to retrieve Adam, who had a great time on the trip to Wye Island and is excited that he's doing another kayaking trip in August just before school starts.

Adam wanted to go to the Cheesecake Factory for his birthday (far more for dessert than dinner), so we picked up my parents and went to the one that opened this year in Montgomery Mall (I had eggs, as did Adam; we both had chocolate in our cheesecake, though he also had peanut butter in his). Then some of his friends came over for a frisbee and Super Smash Bros competition while Paul and I watched Masters of Sex.


Busy Birthday )
littlereview: (green little review)
Company )

Saturday was as beautiful as Thursday and Friday were -- a bit hotter, but partially overcast, with a nice breeze in the shade -- so after a quiet morning during which I got caught up with sorting photos, we went to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens for the Lotus and Water Lily Festival. The huge pink lotus flowers are in full bloom, and the park has an annual celebration incorporating both the local Asian and African-American communities who did cooking and gardening demonstrations, art and crafts, and dance and musical performances. We got to hear contemporary West African music by Sahel and to see paper lotus flowers being made, and we got to see herons, frogs, and turtles in among the spectacular flowers.


Lotus Festival )


We had ravioli with meatballs for dinner and were going to go driving with Daniel, maybe to get ice cream, afterward, but he was fried from all the sun we got at the gardens and in the adjacent wetlands along the Anacostia River. So instead we watched Jack Reacher, which was a decent action movie though not particularly great; I thought Tom Cruise was fine, though I didn't read the books (it didn't bother me that he's shorter than the character's supposed to be, I thought that made him more impressive as a loner in one-to-one combat), and there were some funny moments among the murder and mayhem, but the female characters were written weakly, some of the violence was just gross, and the car chases went on too long!
littlereview: (trek)
Scientific Method )

We spent the afternoon in College Park, where we dropped off Adam for a weekend trip and spent two hours walking around the campus before we picked up Daniel for the weekend. I have finally accomplished my goal of seeing all five publicly displayed Testudo statues! Then we had dinner with my parents and I posted a review of Deep Space Nine's excellent, controversial "In the Pale Moonlight".


Around Campus )


Now that the video is out, we're watching Noah, which Daniel hasn't seen. I understand why a wide range of people think this movie is crack, but some parts are too magnificent for me not to want to watch over and over. And I love that Aronofsky essentially gave Noah the Four Children for his kids -- Shem the wise child, Ham the wicked child, Ila the innocent child, and Japheth the child who does not know how to ask.
littlereview: (get critical)
Marrying Late )

Thursday arrived with the nicest weather we've had in weeks -- barely 80 degrees, low humidity, some high fluffy clouds -- so I didn't mind that I had to do various chores like exchange the king-size pillow covers I accidentally bought Wednesday instead of full-size pillow covers and get shampoo and conditioner. Then I got to take a walk, where I saw happily munching bunnies right near my house and an entire family of deer in the woods:


Stag, Doe, and Fawn )


Adam is going on an orientation kayaking trip with other University of Maryland honors students for the weekend, including a high school friend, so on Thursday he got together with a group to hang out (they had planned to make a movie together but I'm not sure if that happened). We had bean enchiladas for dinner, after which Adam went to pack and Paul and I watched Endeavour...I suppose we should watch some Inspector Morse now!
littlereview: (green little review)
L'Avenir est Quelque Chose )

I spent a lovely afternoon shopping with Adam for college stuff! We started at Target because only one of the local stores carries the underwear he likes. Then we went out to lunch at Yuan Fu, where he had hot and sour soup, I had curry dumplings, and we shared the veggie pineapple chicken and General Tso's chicken. After that, we headed to Congressional to get kitty litter at Petco, then across the parking lot to Bed, Bath & Beyond where we (and dozens if not hundreds of other recent high school graduates and their families) went to get dorm stuff.

We came away with linens, towels, pillows, laundry and bath stuff, and a serious credit card bill, and came home to start organizing them. I had intended to go for a walk, but I ended up spending an hour going through our old linens and drawers collecting stuff to donate to AmVets. For dinner we had the French onion soup and coq au vin that we'd intended to have on July 14th before the power went out, then we watched Extant, which still feels derivative but has several interesting women, at least. Spring amphibians at Meadowlark Gardens:


Tadpoles and Frogs )
littlereview: (jewitch)
The Poster Girl's Defence )

I spent a great deal of this rainy Tuesday cleaning things in the kitchen that had not been cleaned literally for years, so that I could then give a bunch of them away and rearrange what was left, a necessary step in the ongoing dining room table rehabilitation project. Adam went shopping with my mother and got stuck in atrocious traffic in Virginia, so he got home at the same time Paul did; we had leftover Chinese and Thai food from the night before for dinner.

Adam went out with friends while the rest of us watched the MLB All-Star Game, though we switched over to The Daily Show to see Hillary Clinton, who sounds more than ever like she's running for president. I am too pissed off at the internet to spend any more time on it -- the situation in the Middle East is bad enough without people posting false information. Here are pictures of the Korean Bell Garden at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, which I keep forgetting to post:


Jeju Dolhareubang )
littlereview: (jewitch)
To Amy Lowell )

Adam decided to bike to Sugarloaf Mountain on Monday, where he met a friend who had driven there and was therefore able to take him to get Gatorade and food. Meanwhile I was in the middle of work and laundry and stuff when our power went out, which I realize is becoming a Thing. We were going to have French onion soup for le 14 juillet, but since we couldn't cook it or get Gruyere out of the refrigerator, we ended up going out instead to Adam's favorite local Chinese restaurant...without Adam, since, as we were preparing to go out, he got a better offer from friends.

Instead we went ourselves to Grand Fusion, where we had veggie satay, then Thai basil tofu and orange tofu, all of which were excellent. We took our time eating since Pepco said the power would be on at 8 p.m. at the earliest, then called home at 7:45 to hear the sweet sound of our answering machine, meaning it was getting electricity. So we returned, and, since it was still Bastille Day, watched The Man in the Iron Mask with Cheryl via the internet (not a perfect adaptation but it has a great cast and some very fun scenes). Geese at Pennyfield Lock last month:


Goose Teenagers )
littlereview: (green little review)
Fuchsia )

We had a mostly lazy Sunday, though we did go to Cold Stone Creamery in Gaithersburg so Daniel could get some driving time in and so all of us could get ice cream. In the middle of the afternoon, Adam biked to a friend's house to watch the World Cup final with a bunch of friends, and the rest of us had chips and dip while watching it here. We were rooting for Argentina but not very invested in the outcome -- since Germany beat Argentina on our honeymoon, we figured maybe it would be good luck if it happened again!

We had feijoada for dinner in honor of Brazil (with fake pork and beef, of course), then took Daniel back to College Park, where we saw two bunnies in his apartment complex -- the ones in our neighborhood appeared to be hiding from the heat and then the evening thunderstorm that still has the Orioles game delayed. Adam made plans for a biking trip on Monday while Paul and I watched the season premiere of Masters of Sex, which is still excellent -- Allison Janney in particular. Just a few pics from my day:


Out With Kids )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Quickie, rushing because we were looking at the full moon at perigee! We had a full day -- chores in the morning, then we went to the National Colonial Farm in Piscataway Park in Accokeek, which was having a Celebrating the Potomac festival, this year commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 battles in the area by having Pride of Baltimore II visit at the dock overlooking Mount Vernon across the river. There were living history presenters exploring farm and slave life, and Ocean Quartet was playing music from the period!


Potomac River History )


We got home in time for the second half of the World Cup runner-up game, which was not fun to watch for anyone pulling for the host country or just likes balanced matches. Then we had sloppy joes and watched The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, which I did not love despite the nautical theme and the sea animals -- the characters were mostly one-note, especially the women (an ongoing problem in Wes Anderson movies), but it ended in time for us to see the Nationals beat the Phillies in extra innings!
littlereview: (trek)
Travel )

My Friday was fairly routine, though in a good way since I had the whole family in and out. Paul worked from home so we could pick up Daniel in the afternoon, though we had a brief panic when our internet yet again went out for twenty minutes. Adam went to a friend's house after lunch. I finished a review of Deep Space Nine's "Inquisition" -- well-acted, but not one of my favorites, since I will never warm to Section 31. I also and worked some more on the disastrous dining room table, though I didn't unearth any real treasures, just some old medical papers and sports programs.

We retrieved Daniel from work and went to pick up his laundry, spotting two bunnies near his apartment. Then we came home to get Adam and went to dinner at my parents' house, after which Adam went running with friends from school and then out to socialize. The rest of us watched the second episode of this season's Endeavour, then Secrets of Underground London -- I was mostly interested going in to see the abandoned Tube stations and the River Fleet, but the most amazing bits were the hiding places of British Museum treasures and Churchill's bunker. Some photos from near Carderock last month:


Along the Canal )

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