littlereview: (green little review)
The Ecchoing Green )

I spent nearly all of Tuesday doing chores and work because our niece Maddy is coming tomorrow evening and we had a huge amount of cleaning to do -- which will not be finished by the time she arrives, but we didn't want her to take one look at the room and burst into tears, nor did we want Daniel to disown us because we packed away his Nintendo DS games someplace he couldn't find them if he ever wanted them again. We still have an insane amount of clutter, but if we get rid of too much of that, the cats just jump on the shelves in the open space and start flinging the rest onto the floor, so we're waiting for Maddy to start piling her own stuff up!

Our cats got to climb into both a bedroom closet and the linen closet, where they're normally not allowed to go, so they had an entertaining afternoon. We had big thunderstorms in the evening, so I did not see any bunnies, though I saw two that live on exhibit in the zoo plus one who'd snuck into their enclosure on Monday in Richmond, so I can't complain. Here are some photos from the Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibit currently at the Virginia Historical Society, including Paul comparing his muscles to a tackle's, me comparing my thigh to a lineman's, both of us trying on shoulder pads, and some of the collectibles from the teams of my youth!


Gridiron Glory )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Epitaphs of the War: A Dead Statesman )

Another quickie now that Paul and I are home from Richmond but did not arrive till 10 p.m., to find cats who claimed to be ravenous though our catsitter Rose had fed them so recently that they didn't even eat when we gave them food. We spent most of the day at the Richmond Metro Zoo with Cheryl and Kevin, where we got to feed giraffes and goats, take a skyride over the cheetahs and rhinos, take a tram through the African plains, and walk around so many monkey and lemur enclosures that I got sunburned despite sunblock.


People and Animals )


We ate lunch at the zoo, went out for ice cream late in the afternoon when we left, and collapsed at Cheryl's for a while before going out to dinner at Mexico with Kevin's wife Valeria and son Teddy as well as with Lin, whom we'd seen the day before at the museums. It was getting dark by the time we drove home and we got drizzled on a bit, but the predicted storm never arrived. We saw most of BrainDead and all of The Daily Show, which tried to make sense of Brexit and couldn't make it funny; now Colbert is doing the same with the Pope.
littlereview: (little review)
Quickie -- Paul and I are in Richmond with Cheryl and her cat Tippy, where we went to the VMFA for lunch and to see various art exhibits, then then to the Virginia Historical Society to see the NFL Hall of Fame exhibit, then to Great Shiplock Park to see the canal and river, then to Elephant Thai for dinner, then to Dogwood Dell for an outdoor production of Arsenic and Old Lace. I got to see Lin and Cheryl's sister and nephew, and the weather was gorgeous, so it was a great day! A few pics, more tomorrow!


Museums and River )
littlereview: (green little review)
Mysticism for Beginners )

I had a million things to get done on Saturday, not all of which happened because I had plans with people, some of which fell through but I had a lovely day despite still having a lot to get done! Christine was going to come over for brunch, which she ended up not being able to do because of family plans, but Annmarie came over for blueberry pancakes and then we went to Brookside Gardens, where we saw many animals including groundhogs, geese, turtles, frogs, robins, cardinals, red-winged blackbirds, and the caterpillars and butterflies at Wings of Fancy:


Butterflies and Birds )


We walked extensively in the gardens, where many roses are in bloom, and we stopped in both gift shops, plus we stopped for ice cream on the way back and went to see whether Rodman's had any foreign foods we needed. Then we came home to feed the cats, Annmarie went home to her own cats, I dyed my hair and did a bunch of cleaning, and eventually we had burgers and shells for dinner. Since we might go see the sequel over the weekend, we spent the evening watching Independence Day and then catching up on the Ghostbusters on Graham Norton.
littlereview: (little review)
I Have a Seat in the Abandoned Theater )

My Friday morning and afternoon were all about chores (mostly cleaning out older son's room and reorganizing his collectibles) and discussing Brexit with people (since I know people who voted both ways, and I know we're not getting the whole picture on our news). My lunch date had to cancel, family obligations, but that's all right because we went to the Big Greek Cafe for dinner (fire feta and a falafel-and-hummus pita sandwich, whoo!), and after a brief stop at Roots Market since we were right near it, and a brief walk around Olney Theatre Center during which we spotted deer in the woods, we saw the Olney production of Evita.

It's not the best I've ever seen, but it's the first professional staged production I've seen since the movie, and now I need the 2012 recording so I know whether most productions substitute "The Lady's Got Potential" for "The Art of the Possible" and whether most include "You Must Love Me" -- two huge improvements in the film as far as I'm concerned, so I heartily approve. Plus Peron's mistress sang "Another Suitcase In Another Hall" to Eva rather than to Peron or to Che, so the show practically passes the Bechdel Test. The singing at times sounded very shrill, though I think that was the sound system, which made the show start half an hour late!


Olney and Environs )
littlereview: (trek)
Child Of Europe )

On Thursday I kind of kept thinking it was Friday, so much so that I posted my review of Voyager's "Favorite Son" a day early and it was up for several hours before I realized what I had done. (Don't even bother, the episode doesn't deserve that much attention.) I stayed up too late the night before, watching both the Democratic sit-in and the run-up to the Brexit vote -- it's not looking good for Remain right now, which makes me sad -- and I have plans for a lot of the weekend so I'm all thrown off.

We had dinner with my parents on Thursday since we have plans to go out on Friday, then came home and watched Olympus Has Fallen, which I disliked about as much as London Has Fallen (which at least had the virtue of being in London) and more than I disliked White House Down (which probably had a stupider screenplay but had a lot less random killing of civilians, plus the terrorists weren't representing a particular country or ethnicity). Once the rain stopped this afternoon, we had squirrels frolicking on our deck:


Squirrely Romance )
littlereview: (get critical)
Property )

I have nothing exciting to say -- my whole Wednesday was work, chores, and rooting for the Democrats taking a lesson from the Occupy movement, plus a visit from a handyman who hopefully can fix the upstairs hall bathroom before our niece Maddy moves in next week. I managed to finish one of the two Shutterfly books I need to get done by the 26th, so there's that too! Our evening entertainment, if it can be called that, was White House Down, which made London Has Fallen seem both realistic and restrained.

My neighbor Rose visited to play with the cats, and Pandora very kindly replaced my out-of-warranty broken bracelet with a brand new one. From downtown a couple of months ago, Saint Patrick's Catholic Church, built in 1794 for the stonemasons building Washington; Homeless Jesus by Tim Schmalz, blessed by Cardinal Wuerl; an atheist pride poster outside the Freedom From Religion Foundation; and the 1896 Adoration of St. Joan of Arc by J. William Fosdick at the Smithsonian American Art Museum:


Downtown Religion )
littlereview: (green little review)
Avalon )

I had plans to get a lot done on Tuesday, but it turned out to be the only day I was sure I could see Christine before she went to the beach next week, so she came over and we watched Gladiator and Galaxy Quest because she hadn't seen either one, which obviously needed to be remedied! Those are two of my very favorite movies and were apparently on the list of movies Adam had told her she should see, though he lucked out and wasn't here when we watched The Notebook, which was one of hers.

Christine stayed for dinner, vegetarian Jamaican "chicken" stew, and I started my weekly Voyager review ("Favorite Son" -- wow, is that one stupid), plus I worked on a Shutterfly book of my Instagram photos which has to be finished before my free book coupon expires. It was very hot, so I didn't spend a lot of time outside, though nothing like what's going on in the southwest right now! Here are some photos from the spring, which may have been slow to get started but was quite cool and temperate all through May:


Beautiful Blooms )
littlereview: (get critical)
Summer Night )

My Monday was not very eventful -- it was mostly work and chores -- but the full solstice moon was as beautiful as predicted, so I have no complaints. I discovered that we may be able to get a little bit of money for our inherited World Book encyclopedias, not because anyone really wants a 1981 encyclopedia for information, but because the spines are in perfect shape and apparently realtors staging houses for sale like encyclopedia sets to display in libraries, and I managed to clear an entire shelf in Daniel's room.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out whether there's any value in old Bionicle packages when I'm not sure which Bionicle fit in which containers. We had leftover faux Beef Wellington for dinner, then watched Houdini and Doyle, which I wished had been slightly more literary, less conspiracy (anachronisms don't usually bother me, but Victorian fanboys make me roll my eyes), and BrainDead, which I wish was less didactic if I'm putting up with grossness and meanness. In honor of the solstice, a nearly-full moon evening at Great Falls:


Evening at the Falls )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Summer Stars )

We spent Father's Day in Hanover with Paul's parents, arriving later than we planned because a terrible accident had 3/4 of I-270 closed but getting there in plenty of time to go out to lunch at the very good Lu Hibachi Buffet, which in addition to a huge buffet has a wonderful make-your-own-noodles bar (I had teriyaki noodles with eggs, water chestnuts, and pineapple). We also brought blueberry pie, plus strawberry rhubarb jam and marzipan since those are among Clair's favorites. After we ate, we talked to David's entire family including Maddy (and her other grandfather) who's currently in New Mexico and Noelle who was visiting David, Maria, Lukas, Jamie, and Rafael, then we talked to Daniel and Adam in Seattle and Texas.


Father's Day )


There was some traffic going home but not nearly as bad as heading up. We were so full from lunch that we mostly grazed for dinner while watching the quite satisfying Vicious series finale, the third season premiere of Endeavour which is like a glorious contemporary mash-up of The Great Gatsby and The Prestige, and the first episode of The Tunnel, which may end up being too violent for me but we were curious about it because of the cast and because the Danish/Swedish series on which the British/French series is based got very good reviews -- I think it ran already in the UK but I was afraid of spoilers. I'm very sad about Anton Yelchin, but wishing everyone a happy full moon solstice.
littlereview: (green little review)
The Battle Of Waterloo )

We had gorgeous weather on Saturday and I spent nearly all of it outside. We ate lunch early and went to Riley's Lock, where we saw lots of animals in the canal and lots of boaters on the river, then we went to Homestead Farm to pick blueberries and saw their animals too. Strawberry season is nearly over there, so it wasn't very crowded. We stopped at Giant to get the rest of the ingredients to make pie for Father's Day tomorrow.

We had (fake) Beef Wellington for dinner in honor of the date, then we went to Great Falls near sunset because our friend Diana had seen beavers there the night before. We didn't find the beavers but we did run into Diana and watched the twilight turn colors with her. Then we came home and watched Mamma Mia because I'd been singing "Waterloo" all day -- also because of the date! Here are river and canal pics, farm pics to come:


A Day on the River )
littlereview: (trek)
Continuities )

I had a fairly fun Friday! Christine didn't have to work, so she came over and we watched The Notebook, which believe it or not I've never seen. I'm not big on weepies or Nicholas Sparks, but I knew the plot, the fact that Gena Rowlands and Rachel McAdams were in the movie, and that I was probably missing out on pop culture references because I'd never seen it; somehow I did not know that Nick Cassavetes had directed it, which may explain why I liked it much better than I expected, at least until it went on for fifteen minutes too long with that manipulative, contrived ending.

Since Christine had time, we also watched Eddie the Eagle since she hadn't seen it and went for a walk to see bunnies (3). In case you're thinking that I did no work at all, I did post my review of Voyager's "Rise" and did a bunch of work in older son's room to clean out the clutter, though Paul had the harder job trying to reinstall a screen the neighborhood association made us take off because it had white trim (it now has black sharpie trim and doesn't fit quite right). Here are goslings we saw while moving Adam out of College Park at the end of the spring semester:


College Park Goslings )
littlereview: (get critical)
If I Had A Brontosaurus )

My morning and most of my afternoon involved unexciting work and chores -- it's hard to explain why I like "Rise" when it's mostly in comparison to "Unity" and "Darkling" -- but in the afternoon we decided to beat the predicted thunderstorms and go to Olney to pick up Evita tickets that we had to get at the box office to get a big discount. Since we were up there, we went to Roots Market, which is fantastic -- like merging the best of MOMs, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and our local mostly-all-organic co-op. So after much more shopping than we'd intended, plus a stop at CVS, we came home with everything from theater tickets to vegan pepper steak.

Because it was Bloomsday, we'd had gorgonzola sandwiches for lunch and we had Guinness (faux) beef stew for dinner (plus Bailey's because why not). The thunderstorms arrived and our power went out for a few minutes, though we managed to see all of Beauty and the Beast and most of Orphan Black's season finale (very glad it's coming back for another season, kind of relieved it's just one more season so they won't have time to ruin what's been a really excellent show). Now Jeff Goldblum and Liam Hemsworth are having too much fun on Graham Norton, and here are myself, Paul, and Cheryl having too much fun at Dinosaur Land:


Dino Garden )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Ode to Lil' Kim in Florence )

I spent a lot of time on Tuesday getting very little done cleaning up Daniel's room for Maddy -- apart from the posters being off the walls and the floor being less cluttered with stuff younger son brought home from college, you can barely tell anything changed at all. Plus I watched the Voyager episode I need to review this week ("Rise" -- actually pretty good) and saw two bunnies when able to take a walk after the rain stopped.

Now that TV season is over, we watched Remember, the Christopher Plummer/Martin Landau Holocaust-survivor-with-dementia movie, which I thought would be depressing. It was not, at least not until afterward in retrospect; it was gripping, enraging, wonderfully acted, and truly shocking at the end. These photos are from Glen Burnie House's formal gardens, including a rose garden, statue garden, parterre garden, and vegetable garden:


Formal Gardens )
littlereview: (green little review)
Air And Angels )

I had so much fun on Monday that I had a huge amount of work to do Tuesday. Some of this was on the computer and some of it was physical, since we are cleaning up Daniel's room so that our niece Maddy can move into it in a couple of weeks; I carried lots of things back and forth between the basement and the top floor, and finally Freecycled the papasan and ottoman we've had since we lived in Chicago, bought at the Pier 1 in Hyde Park before Daniel was born and well beloved by our cats.

It was a bit warmer than Monday but still nice enough to have the windows and doors open most of the day. We saw bunnies and chipmunks, though not many people had flags out for Flag Day. We watched a couple of episodes of Bones including "The Princess and the Pear" -- the nerd-convention Excalibur sword one -- and now we're watching Daniel Radcliffe on Colbert. Here are some photos of the Asian garden at the Glen Burnie mansion created by the founder of the Museum of the Shenandoah:


Asian Shenandoah )
littlereview: (get critical)
To Hope )

Cheryl and I had a slacker day, sleeping late after the Tonys and the news on Sunday night, then eating breakfast while watching Jurassic World because we were in the mood after Dinosaur Land. The news was so stressful and upsetting that we then watched a ridiculous artificial attempt to be stressful and upsetting, London Has Fallen, in which Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart play out a fantasy of macho white boy American power fighting off mostly people of color and useless Europeans -- even if you love one of the actors, I cannot recommend it.

I am more apt to recommend Now You See Me 2, which we went to see with Paul late in the afternoon. The movie has about as many plot holes and magic tricks that can only be done with a movie camera as the original, and Lizzy Caplan doesn't get a better role than Isla Fisher did, but it's great fun to see Daniel Radcliffe play a bad guy, always fun to see Michael Caine play a bad guy, and everyone else (Ruffalo, Harrelson, Freeman, Eisenberg, et al) get plenty of amusing moments. After the movie we went out for Indian food in the mall before Cheryl went home.

Our evening involved some cleanup around watching this week's Houdini and Doyle, which I liked apart from my ongoing dislike of the storyline involving the latter's wife -- it really annoys me to have a major female character with absolutely no agency, not even thus far much in flashback -- and the new Braindead, which can't decide whether it's a comedy about how politics is for morons or a horror movie about how we'd be better off with zombies than Donald Trump in charge, which is way too mixed a tone; I think it should stick to comedy and drop all pretense at horror or realism.

I had very little time to post last night after a lovely day near the Blue Ridge Mountains, so let me note that the Mucha exhibit at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, which allows no photos, is delightful -- many enormous prints and lithos, Sarah Bernhardt posters from several countries, Czech nationalistic art, collectible coloring cards -- and Dinosaur Land, which has one of the biggest tacky gift stores east of Wall Drug and north of South of the Border, is simply a joy, with educational signs around gigantic models of battling dinosaurs. Here are photos of us being happy on a very sad day:


Jurassic Park )
littlereview: (little review)
Paul, Cheryl, and I had lunch together and spent the afternoon in Winchester and White Post, Virginia, first at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, which has exhibits on Alphonse Mucha and Andrei Kushnir plus the Glen Burnie House and Gardens open for the season, then at Dinosaur Land, the 50-year-old walk-through prehistoric garden which also has an interactive great white shark and King Kong. We got home in time for the Tony Awards (Paul made Boeuf a la Mode and Brandy Alexander Brownies), which were awesome in pretty much every way (the winners! the musical numbers! the guest list!). I don't have words for Orlando, only donations to the Red Cross and Americans for Responsible Solutions. Two pics, more to come:


Different Gardens )
littlereview: (green little review)
The Dragon-fly )

Paul and I spent most of Saturday in Pennsylvania visiting his parents. We came up a different route so we could stop and pick up Chipotle for lunch, taking us through New Oxford, which I really want to visit again because the center of town is a bunch of Civil War-era buildings and a train station housing many antique stores. We helped put together a new, lighter walker and Skyped with a bunch of relatives, including Daniel and Adam and our niece Maddy who's coming to stay with us at the end of the month.

It was miserably hot, but the storm we'd been warned might arrive never did. On the way home in the early evening, we stopped to pick up cat supplies at a Petco where dozens of puppies available for adoption were visiting, then at Giant to get food for the next few days. I was in the mood to watch Reign of Fire after having described the scene where Christian Bale and Gerard Butler reenact Star Wars to a friend last week, so we did that. Here are some flowers from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden from last spring:


Inside and Out )
littlereview: (trek)
What Is So Rare As A Day In June )

I'm not sure exactly where Friday morning went, I was very disorganized for no good reason. Daniel had something good happen at work that I gather I'm not supposed to go around bragging about, but I want to acknowledge because I'm proud of and happy for him, and Adam is still working hard and apparently enjoying himself in Texas. I posted a review of Voyager's still-terrible "Darkling" and organized some photos.

Because the weather was so gorgeous (and is supposed to be beastly hot for the weekend), we went to Locust Grove to take a walk by the creek, where we saw a great blue heron fishing, new trees planted to prevent erosion, several people walking dogs, and the nearby new little farmer's market with fruit and honey. We had dinner with my parents, and after we came home, we watched Best in Show at Cheryl's suggestion!


Cabin John Creek )
littlereview: (green little review)
Night Fell )

The weather on Thursday was even more gorgeous than Wednesday and I got to enjoy it a lot, plus I finished my Voyager review for the week so I don't even feel guilty even though I got behind on email and stuff! I had lunch with my neighbor Carole at Zoe's Kitchen, where I'd never eaten before and which has a hummus trio (garlic, pesto, red pepper) that is wonderful. Then Paul and I decided to avoid traffic and go take a mid-afternoon walk along the C&O Canal:


Today in Turtles )


In addition to the many turtles, we saw lots of birds, including a couple of pairs of ducks and several cardinals. Then we came home, finished work, played with cats, and ate dinner. Evening TV included Beauty and the Beast, which is a bit all over the place plot-wise but not super dark, which I appreciate, and Orphan Black, which is pretty dark but a lot of really good stuff happened this episode and the acting is always first-rate. So glad Obama has finally endorsed Clinton!

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