littlereview: (trek)
A Conceit )

Went out to California Pizza Kitchen with my parents, had hummus and flatbread and everything was very good, but my stomach is really angry at me right now and I'm not sure whether there's a connection. I had a pretty quiet Friday otherwise: posted a review of Deep Space Nine's intense "Covenant", talked online with both kids about school and work stuff, had a lovely unexpected visit from Adam's high school girlfriend who's back in town for Thanksgiving, we took a walk and saw bunnies!

After dinner Paul and I came home and watched Sweet Revenge, in which Sam Neill, Helena Bonham Carter, Rupert Graves and many other usual British suspects scheme against one another with entertaining results. It is [personal profile] artemis_prime's birthday as well as her husband's, though I didn't feel up to going out for their party and am going to crash early for a weekend night. Meanwhile here are some photos from Sunspots Glassblowing Studios in Staunton, which we visited a couple of weekends ago:


Shaping Glass )
littlereview: (jewitch)
The Moment of the Fall )

Thursday, thankfully, was warmer than Wednesday! I did laundry and chores in the morning, and after lunch, Paul and I picked up Daniel from College Park and drove him to Baltimore for a job interview. He was already in a good mood because he got a great offer from the company at which he interviewed last weekend, and he is talking to another big company next week. The Baltimore company is in the Federal Hill neighborhood, overlooking the harbor on one side and the stadiums on the other, so while Daniel was interviewing, Paul and I visited the Cross Street Market and walked to Federal Hill Park, which has great views of the Inner Harbor and has both Civil War and War of 1812 monuments, plus a playground with a miniature B&O Roundhouse, USS Constellation, and Signal Hill Tower cannons.


Above the Harbor )


We wandered a bit in Federal Hill's shopping district -- lots of restaurants and bars targeted to sports fans, quite a bit of furniture and antiques -- until Daniel was finished, then we drove him back to College Park and took him to Azteca for Mexican food for dinner. (Adam was on the way to a formal with his girlfriend, so we didn't get to see him.) We ran into lots of traffic driving home due to a Beltway accident, but we made it in time for Gracepoint, which is going to make me SO mad if it doesn't keep Broadchurch's ending in big strokes even though the producers said they weren't going to, and Elementary, which had such a strange open ending that we thought maybe the episode had cut off prematurely after starting late because the network decided to show Obama's speech on immigration.
littlereview: (photos)
Summer in Winter in Summer )

It felt just as cold out as we were warned it would on Wednesday, though in the DC area it wasn't nearly as bad as a lot of places north of us -- we did not get snow! I did a bunch of work in the morning, then went to the mall because Macy's was having a big one-day sale (they will undoubtedly have others before Black Friday but I figured the earlier I got in, the more stuff they would have on the 80% rack and the shorter the checkout lines would be). I was there for an insane number of hours but I got two dresses and three shirts at a ridiculous discount.

We had ravioli and meatballs in awesome butternut squash sauce for dinner, then I showed Paul The Colbert Report from the night before last with U2's lost luggage and the bear sex (heh) before this week's The 100 (women are still kicking ass, Marcus Kane is still hot) and Nashville (women are still compromising but singing much better songs than the men, even on the Fake CMAs). Here are some flowers from the conservatory at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden last month, since a lot of us could use some color if not sunshine right now!


Fall Blooms )
littlereview: (get critical)
Boy and Egg )

Poem because I needed this today. We were warned that miserable cold weather was coming, and although it wasn't too bad at midday when I walked outside, by evening it was below freezing and now it's miserable. Fortunately I was inside for most of the afternoon -- I wanted to move some craft stuff out from under my bed into the drawer next to my desk, which I thought would be easy because I just had to clear out all the ancient floppy discs and old versions of Windows and Roxio, but it ended up taking several hours with cats very distressed that I had piles of things where they wanted to prowl.

We had dinner with [personal profile] wolfshark, [personal profile] artemis_prime, and our menfolk at Lebanese Taverna, which (mostly) got my meal right this time and the lebneh was great. Plus I stopped in Tiara Galleries, which has all their Brighton charms and beads 50% off! Tuesday is a big genre night, so we watched The Flash (okay, female characters still need work), Agents of SHIELD (better than last season, but still not great), and Forever (thank you ABC for keeping this one for the season!). Here is Staunton's Fire & Rescue Station 1, which contains the Jumbo Museum 1911 Fire Engine and has a 9/11 memorial:


Fire and Rescue )
littlereview: (jewitch)
An Old Man's Winter Night )

I got to spend Monday with Cheryl just hanging out locally for the first time in a while, which was awesome for such a rainy, chilly day (Tuesday is supposed to be dryer but ridiculously cold for November, sigh). We went out for Indian food, then went to Washington Hebrew's holiday boutique, where we hung out with my mom who was volunteering, looked at lots of jewelry and accessories, and bumped into several people I've known for half my life.

Then we came back to my house to watch Sharpe's Enemy and Sharpe's Honour, since we'd put off watching the former till we also had time to watch the latter since the former has a very sad ending. We also watched a few Shoujo Cosette episodes -- she's a grownup now but still has saucer eyes! After Cheryl had to go home, Paul and I had dinner, talked Facebook with his father, and watched Sleepy Hollow which as always has awesome women.


Harpers Ferry Fall )
littlereview: (get critical)
Mannahatta )

Daniel had a big project to work on for a class, so we had a quiet Sunday hanging out at home watching football while he worked. We went out for Starbucks but that was all the excitement. The R-words played as badly as I could have hoped; by the end of the season, I'm hoping their name is such an embarrassment that they decide to change it for marketing reasons alone, since fairness to Native Americans seems not to matter to the owner.

Since Daniel hadn't seen my parents, we went over there for dinner, then drove him back to College Park so he could finish the project, which is due Monday. We came home to watch Worricker: Salting the Battlefield, which did not have as solid an ending as I had hoped, but the performances were smart enough that I didn't care. We're only two episodes behind now on Madam Secretary, which is excellent. Great Falls kayakers on Saturday:


Over the Falls )
littlereview: (green little review)
Tanka )

Saturday was as chilly as Friday but sunny and beautiful. We had a quiet morning doing household stuff, then had an early lunch and went to pick up Daniel from the airport after his interview in Madison (where it was cold and snowy, but they fed him well and he loved the campus). Because it was a gorgeous day, we went from Dulles to Great Falls, Virginia, where the water was surprisingly low but there were not a lot of people and we had gorgeous views of the river.


Great Falls )


Daniel had a big homework project to work on when we came home, so we had Mexican food for dinner and hung out watching the Maryland-Michigan State game. Suffice to say that things did not end well for the Terrapins, though they didn't play terribly, just blew a couple of big plays that they really needed to beat a ranked team. Adam was at the game and posted a picture of himself with UMD president Wallace Loh, who was apparently hanging out in the student section!
littlereview: (trek)
Frost at Midnight )

It was chilly but beautiful out on Friday -- sunny, still plenty of leaves, so it still feels like autumn despite the snow flurries we saw Thursday. I spent the morning working on a review of Deep Space Nine's "The Siege of AR-558 and the afternoon walking around the neighborhood enjoying the colors and talking to the deer (yes, my neighbors do think I'm crazy). Here are some autumn churchyard pics from Staunton a couple of weekends ago:


Staunton Churches )


We had dinner with my parents at their house, then came home and watched Page Eight, the prequel to Turks & Caicos, which we both really liked, since the end of the Worricker trilogy, Salting The Battlefield, is on Sunday. I loved the first one, too -- no Helena Bonham Carter, but Rachel Weisz and Judy Davis make up for that, and I love that the focus is on great dialogue and quiet political menace rather than major violence like so many recent spy movies.
littlereview: (Default)
Between Stations )

Daniel has an interview in Madison on Thursday, so Paul worked half a day so we could see Daniel off together at the airport. Then we drove through beautiful Virginia wine country to the West Virginia border and spent the afternoon in Harpers Ferry, where we had lunch and enjoyed a very pretty if chilly few hours. The entire downtown area of Harpers Ferry is a historic reenactment of how it looked around the Civil War era, with several small museums and exhibits plus several reconstructed shops kept by the National Park Service, as well John Brown's fort (actually a fire house) and the foundations and outlines of many other buildings used by the Union and Confederate soldiers who came through the town.

We visited the confectionery, clothing store, inn, and bakery, and we walked around the church and blacksmith shop, both of which were closed (we were practically the only tourists in the town). On the side streets, there are also some nice boutiques and little restaurants, some of which we stopped in before we followed the Appalachian Trail to the pedestrian bridge that goes over the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah. Then we walked along the river trail to the mill ruins, where we saw deer and geese in the woods. We took the bus back to the park service parking lot as snow began to fall, and though we had thought about stopping at Sugarloaf Mountain on the way home, we found it closed amidst flurries.


West Virginia Autumn )


We stopped at Lewis Orchard for locally made cheddar cheese on the way home, then ate that with pumpkin soup and pita for dinner. Even though we are not regular Supernatural viewers, we have seen all the meta episodes, which have been fantastic, so we watched the hilarious 200th episode, "Fan Fiction" (if you are at all familiar with the fandom, you do not have to be up on the show's mythology to howl through the entire thing). Then we watched Gracepoint, which I like best when it hews close to Broadchurch -- I enjoy the similarities and differences in Tennant's performance -- and Elementary, which I like best when the character stuff is nothing I saw coming, so there was some really nice stuff this week.
littlereview: (get critical)
Amorosa Erranza )

I did a lot of running around on Wednesday, but it was a good day. Paul worked from home so he could start early and take part in an online company meeting. I did work in the morning, then met my friend Linda, whom I have known since elementary school -- the one whose family throws the Super Bowl party we go to every year -- for lunch at Ted's 355 Diner. We both had eggs and hash browns and talked about our college freshmen (hers is at Georgetown), our pets, visiting our extended families, and making photo books from our travels.

Then I came home, folded laundry, and went with Paul to pick up older son in College Park because he's flying to Madison for a job interview on Thursday despite being very busy with classes. We stopped at the mall to pick up his suit, which was being altered, then we came home for dinner, Nature's beavers episode, The 100 (whose women continue to be awesome), and Nashville (whose women continue to make dumb decisions). From the adopters-only opening of Penguin Coast at the Maryland Zoo this summer, happy penguins in their big new home:


Penguin Colony )
littlereview: (green little review)
Her Feet Were Bare )

My Tuesday was no more exciting than my Monday, very routine except for exceptionally lovely November weather that got into the high 60s -- the bunnies enjoyed it, the chipmunks enjoyed it, the crickets enjoyed it and were singing after dark, which made me so happy...in fact, I think everyone enjoyed it but my cats, because the squirrels and birds were enjoying it all over our deck, and the cats couldn't get them. Other than chores, I spent most of my day working on our family's 2015 calendar (theme: Outer Banks trip), since Shutterfly was not only having a 40% off sale but offered an extra 20% today with free shipping and I wanted to get the order in by midnight.

We watched the beginning of the Concert for Valor but stopped to watch Agents of SHIELD, which had terrible dialogue and way too few women besides Special Snowflake Skye, and I was already frustrated because I had been really tempted to watch Supernatural's 200th episode, a.k.a. "Fan Fiction," because I have never seen a musical episode that I have not loved, whether it was Buffy's spectacular "Once More With Feeling" or Xena's less spectacular "The Bitter Suite." Then we watched Forever which I am so glad has been picked up for the entire season, and which had Jane Seymour, even if the BDSM storyline had its flaws. National Arboretum autumn bonsai:


Color in Miniature )
littlereview: (get critical)
Insect Haiku )

I did not do anything worth reporting on Monday -- it was all chores. The weather was beautiful, at least, and for the first time in ages I saw five neighborhood bunnies when I was out walking (Paul saw one too when he got home, munching right in front of our house, though that bunny had hopped away by the time I got there). The sunsets this fall have been amazing and tonight's was no exception, though I hate how early they're arriving. Are those multi-spectrum lights used to treat seasonal affective disorder safe for people with family tendencies to get skin cancer?

We have mutually agreed to give up Gotham -- maybe someday it will get good, but right now it's both violent and sexually exploitative of women -- so instead we watched the pilot of Madam Secretary, which I loved. Then we watched Sleepy Hollow, in which this week Crane got his pop culture digs in about reality TV and Katrina and Abbie were generally awesome -- how come the women on the supernatural show are more believable than women on so many "realistic" shows? Here is Bao Bao at the National Zoo last summer, with her mom trying to persuade her to come down from a tree:


Panda in a Tree )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Poem for Leigh Hunt )

We had a quiet Sunday mostly doing chores with Daniel, who has a set of job interviews in Wisconsin next week and had to get his suit tailored and look for a new pair of Dockers to wear. (His brand new electric razor is not working, which means that has to be replaced ASAP too.) Since it was gorgeous out and he needs driving practice to get his license, we also went to Carderock near sunset and walked along the canal as the sky turned pink:


By the River in Autumn )


We had leftover Chinese food from my parents on Friday for dinner, then we drove Daniel back to College Park, stopping at Adam's dorm to drop off his new bank card and lots of leftover Halloween candy from us and my parents. We watched Once Upon a Time, which was kind of after-school-special-y, then Worricker: Turks & Caicos, which was awesome in pretty much every way and we hadn't even seen the prequel -- this week!
littlereview: (jewitch)
A Boat, Beneath a Sunny Sky )

We spent a pleasant, fairly low-key day in Hanover with Paul's parents, whom we last saw under fairly stressful circumstances after Molly's funeral, so it was nice to spend time doing happy things. We brought Daniel and went to lunch at the Amish Market, where we actually spent quite a bit of time not only eating artisan pizza (I had squash, mozzarella, walnuts, and raisins on mine) but looking at crafts and tasting locally made cheese and jams, plus wine (below see Gettysburg Winery's Tears of Gettysburg and Rebel Red, sold as a pair in Civil War packaging), plus we stopped at the Utz Factory store on the way back because holiday cheese balls and chocolate pretzels have arrived!


Amish Market )


We also spent some time helping my in-laws get onto Facebook, since most of their extended family uses it now and they want to read the posts, and we also showed them how to scan photos in case they want to post any of those. When we left -- sadly after dark, since Hanover and Gettysburg have gorgeous leaves including a lot of red maple -- we came home for a light dinner after our big lunch before the season finale of Doctor Who, which left me with my jaw open and not in a good way (certainly not in the sobbing way it seems the writers were hoping for, though there were definitely gratuitous deaths). Graham Norton was less cracky even with Lena Dunham's nutty personal stories!
littlereview: (trek)
So We'll Go No More a Roving )

My Friday started out sort of boring -- I was writing a review of Deep Space Nine's "Once More Unto the Breach", a too-ponderous Klingon episode that holds my interest best during a near-throwaway scene between Kira and Ezri -- then Daniel texted me about his travel plans for out-of-state interviews and ended up deciding to come home for the weekend. So in the afternoon, Paul and I picked him up in College Park.

We took son to get his hair cut and bumped into my father in CVS next door (son recognized his license plate), then went to my parents' for dinner so Daniel could fill them in on his GRE and job plans. Afterward we caught up on two weeks' worth of missed Doctor Who, both of which I liked for a change (Red Riding Hood twist more fun than recent Once Upon a Time). Animals from the Countryside Artisans tour's Something Earthy:


Something Earthy )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Morning Nocturne )

I have nothing exciting to report from Thursday besides seeing a rainbow after several hours of rain. Plus Gracepoint did something tonight that made me hopeful they aren't going to screw up something I thought was good from Broadchurch, and Elementary had Sonia Walger and Lucy Liu snapping at each other.

Now I am having a dispute with my laptop about how unnecessary it is for it to crash every time a web site unexpectedly wants to run Flash, so here are some photos of animals from Mount Vernon a couple of months ago, some permanent residents, some visiting for the Colonial Fair, one modeling with a model of George Washington:


Farm and Orchard Animals )
littlereview: (get critical)
The Layers )

It was a weird Wednesday even forgetting the post-election blues (our district still does not have a congressman-elect, since it's so close they have to count the absentee and provisional ballots). Our landline had not been working for more than a day, so we set up an appointment with Verizon for Friday, but they were able to come Wednesday so [profile] apaulled came home at lunchtime to work from home for the rest of the day in case they had to get to the junction box behind the sump pump that I can't reach or anything like that (turned out the problem was not in our house or at our local junction box, but at the main junction box for the neighborhood). Plus a pipe broke across the street and there were lots of noisy trucks trying to stop the flow of water:


Pipe Break )


We did get to have dinner at California Tortilla with [personal profile] artemis_prime and her husband, though we went so early because he had a class that we were home before 7. So we watched Restoration, the Robert Downey Jr.-Sam Neill royalty-and-plague movie with gorgeous sets and costumes, great performances, some odd scripting issues, definitely worth seeing. And we watched The 100, which has ongoing major scripting issues but a huge number of really awesome women who make up for it all -- most consistent Bechdel triumph of anything we watch! And I don't care whether Benedict Cumberbatch is getting married or not but given the frequent level of hysterical hyperbole on Tumblr, I was glad it was all about that and not about politics for once!
littlereview: (little review)
Q )

It should tell you everything you need to know about how I feel about the election results when I tell you that the high point of my day was my six-month dental check-up. Okay, actually I enjoyed the Marvel special that was on in lieu of Agents of SHIELD and Disney gave me a free digital copy of Wreck-It Ralph for connecting my Google Play account and we had dinner with my parents, but not even leftover Halloween candy could make tonight's news coverage any less bitter.

Maryland just elected a Republican governor who is at least not a nut on private issues, but WHAT THE HELL MONTGOMERY COUNTY right now in my district, a screw-the-environment, anti-choice, bigoted Republican is winning the Congressional race. (I only voted for Delaney, who's a non-progressive old-school Republican in Democrats' clothing, because he's running against this jerk.) Some photos from the National Arboretum on Monday in the forlorn hope that pretty flowers will lower my blood pressure:


Me in the Arboretum )
littlereview: (green little review)
Fruit Cocktail in Light Syrup )

Adam had a box of business cards shipped home and requested that we deliver them on Monday before some sort of networking event in the evening, so since the weather forecast was good and we missed a week of autumn while out west, Paul took the afternoon off and we went to the National Arboretum en route to College Park. We had already had an arboreal morning, since our neighbor had found someone to remove the tree that had fallen across both our yards while we were away and they came to cut and shred it into wood chips. So I had the smell of wood and leaves in my nose all day. In addition to seeing the autumn bonsai exhibit, we went to the Capital Columns, walked through the ferns in the woods and took the trail down to the Anacostia River:


Autumn Arboretum )


From the arboretum we drove through Prince George's County to College Park, where we met Adam at his dorm to drop off his business cards plus half our leftover Halloween candy. We took the other half the candy to Daniel, whom we met outside an engineering building after stopping to see the sheep on the campus farm, and we took him food shopping and to IHOP for dinner. He has a crazy couple of weeks ahead -- midterms, GRE, and he may be flying to Wisconsin for a job interview in the midst of it all. After we took him back to his apartment, we came home, watched this week's election-season Sleepy Hollow in which Crane reminds us to vote on Tuesday and makes an American Idol joke, then caught up on The 100 which is quite fun this season.
littlereview: (photos)
Lament for Zenocrate )

We are home after another lovely day in Staunton with Cheryl, where, after breakfast in the hotel, we went walking around the sleepy town, looking at the churches and visiting the firehouse with restored 1911 fire engine and 9/11 memorial. As the shops started to open, we went to see glassblowing at Sunspots Studios, had lunch at Taste of India which has possibly the best vegetarian Indian buffet in the mid-Atlantic, tried to visit the maps exhibit at the Augusta County Historical Society though it was closed, and stopped in the Staunton visitor's center.

Then we went to see Marlowe's Edward II, which was excellent -- I have seen two filmed versions but had never seen it performed live, and as always the acting at the American Shakespeare Center was terrific and the production very dynamic with a minimum of props. There were a few audience members apparently scandalized by the actors kissing on stage, who fled at the intermission, making us wonder what they were expecting from the very homoerotic poster even if they knew nothing about the drama. We were more shocked that they portrayed the deposed king's ultimate fate on stage.


Shakespeare's Stage )


Sorry about the quality of the photos -- I had thought none were allowed, so only had my phone with me, though they let audience members back into the Blackfriars after the play ended to take pictures. We said goodbye to Cheryl and had a relatively traffic-free if depressingly-in-the-dark drive back home, where we arrived just in time for Once Upon a Time, which we ate dinner while watching. Now we are watching the horror that is the Ravens-Steelers game -- let's just say that Baltimore is having an even worse day than DC football-wise -- and petting our neglected cats.

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