littlereview: (green little review)
Prayer )

I had an eye doctor appointment on Wednesday morning that lasted an insane amount of time, mostly because I need new glasses (only marginally, but since we have no idea what will happen to our insurance a year from now, I want to get them while I have a good vision plan) and I tried on a ridiculous number and took a really long time deciding what I really wanted (conclusion: not the ones that are the cutest, but the ones that give me the widest progressive field of vision, meaning bigger lenses than my face probably needs but hopefully means no headaches from craning my neck at weird angles ever again.

The rest of my day was not exciting, except that -- after stopping at Wootton's Mill Park on the way home to see whether one could really catch Kabutos there (I only found one) -- I caught several Charmeleons at Cabin John Park during a trip to drop Maddy off at work and now I have evolved a Charizard. We watched Hairspray Live, which I enjoyed but I have to admit that no version of the musical comes close for me to the 1988 non-musical film with Divine, Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono, and so many other fantastic performances. Here are some of the lighted conservatory spaces at Longwood Gardens over the past weekend:


Longwood Lights )
littlereview: (green little review)
Love's Living Flame )

It rained all day Tuesday, from the time I woke up through the time I'm typing this. I went out in the morning to drop Maddy off at an appointment, then went out again just before lunch to retrieve her, and after lunch, Paul and I went to the MVA satellite office so he could get the van emissions checked and I could get my driver's license renewed. I wanted to stop at a park over in that direction, but it was raining too hard to walk anywhere, so I settled for driving through the Cabin John Park parking lot to catch the Charmander there.

Angela came over late in the afternoon for a movie and dinner; we watched The Devil Wears Prada because she had never seen it (I liked it much better on this second viewing), and we ordered Domino's so we wouldn't have to go out and get food in the rain. After she went home, we watched The Flash, on which at this point I can't keep either timelines or parallel earths straight, and Agents of SHIELD, where I just can't keep character arcs straight. Here is the music room at Longwood Gardens decorated for this Christmas:


Musical Christmas )
littlereview: (get critical)
Christmas Trees )

Cheryl came over Monday, took me out to lunch for my birthday at Tara Thai, and we spent the rest of the afternoon watching movies! We started with Bridget Jones's Baby, which if I had spent more than five seconds thinking about, I would probably have disliked as much as The Edge of Reason, whose sexual politics is worse but since it's very shallow I feel justified in noting that super-thin Colin Firth looks older and more haggard than not-so-skinny Colin Firth so I wasn't even finding him attractive. Then we watched the far more interesting though much too scary for kids Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, whose female characters also did not impress me but it has gorgeous, evocative visuals and is well acted.

We watched an episode of The Crown before Cheryl had to go home. I had promised Maddy earlier in the day that we would take her to Radio Shack to replace her phone charger, so after dinner, we went to the mall, where we all got new charging cables and then spent a lot of time in Teavana tasting samples and smelling all the yummy holiday teas. We watched some of the Colts' blowout of the Jets, then Timeless, which I quite liked this week (I didn't think I was shippy about it, but Lucy and Wyatt need to do more kissing; has this show been picked up for a full season, or is NBC cutting it off at 16?). Here are some of the Christmas trees on display at Winterthur this Yuletide season, including the annual dried flower and March Bank trees:


Yuletide Indoors )
littlereview: (get critical)
The Lights )

Paul, Maddy, and I went to Hanover on Sunday to celebrate Cinda's birthday, which we did by taking Clair and Cinda out to lunch at La Cucina, their favorite Italian restaurant, where Santa happened to be visiting to celebrate the season. Afterward we ate birthday cake back at their house and Skyped with Daniel and Adam. Clair and Cinda are doing pretty well, still frustrated that they don't get out more, but they were happy the Patriots won today and we are all glad that Maryland is going to the Quick Lane Bowl. We're also all glad that the Dakota Access pipeline situation is being addressed!


Sunday )


At home we saw the very beginning of the Seahawks blowout of the Panthers (we missed the Ravens game while in Hanover), then watched Once Upon a Time, which had massive silliness and annoyances, and the season finale of Westworld, which left a bunch of questions unanswered but was mostly satisfying in addressing the important issues -- only one twist really surprised me, and they didn't at all wrap up what one major character was up to, but some of the thematic issues that had bothered me got decent temporary resolutions, though there's still some major discussion of gender issues I may eventually write about.
littlereview: (green little review)
Paul and I spent almost all day at Winterthur's Yuletide and Longwood Gardens' Christmas, where we saw lots of holiday lights and flowers, met the family of the woman who created the phenomenal McDaniel Dollhouse on display in Winterthur's museum, drank hot chocolate while watching the sun set, and stopped on the way home at Maryland House for Curritos, where we saw the beginning of the Big 10 championship, which we then followed in the car as we picked up Maddy from work and eventually saw end on TV. These are phone pics, mostly selfies -- proper photos in a couple of days!


Winterthur and Longwood )
littlereview: (trek)
The Quiet Life )

I did chores in the morning, finished a review of Voyager's "Message in a Bottle", dropped Maddy off at the salon to get her hair dyed, and drove northwest with Paul to go on the Countryside Artisans' winter tour:


Winter Crafts )


Maddy had to work in the evening, so she took her pink hair to the movie theater while we had dinner with my parents. We've spent the rest of the evening watching Washington dominate Colorado in the Pac-12 championship.
littlereview: (green little review)
Boy and Egg )

Our car was in for routine servicing on Thursday, so we were mostly around the house. I pretty much finished my Voyager review because I have a lot of running around to do on Friday, plus I did laundry, sorted a bunch of clothes and things for donation, and eventually went to the mall with Maddy to use Bath & Body Works coupons and pick up a couple of gifts. I also stopped in the movie theater with Maddy, who wanted to see work friends, long enough to scope out Rogue One collectibles.

We watched the final episode of DC's four-parter with Legends of Tomorrow, but I found parts of it hard to follow since I don't usually watch the show and there was way too little Kara in every episode but the Supergirl installment, which barely connected to the others except at the end. Then we watched the Hamilton Drunk History with Lin-Manuel Miranda, which was awesome! Here are some photos left over from last summer in Fenwick Island from the Seaside Country Store:


Seaside Shopping )
littlereview: (get critical)
The Game of Chess )

It was even warmer on Wednesday than on Tuesday, though it rained the entire day, quite hard at times. I took Maddy to a couple of appointments (one of which was a big disappointment, as she can't dye her hair the way she wanted for a week, though she got a wig to hide her illicit pink roots at work). In between, I watched the Voyager episode I'm reviewing this week, did a stack of laundry consisting pretty much entirely of towels that had vanished into someone's room, and had a huge fight with my computer which decided that I wasn't allowed to connect to the internet for half an hour.

While Maddy was at work, Paul and I went to BGR for the last night of our free burger coupon, where I ate too much excellent veggie burger with spicy cheese -- and on the way home I caught a Ditto pretending to be a Pidgey, w00t! We watched the Arrow crossover episode, though it was too much Arrow and too little everyone else for my taste, then we caught up on Agents of SHIELD, which is actually good this season, and Designated Survivor, which is getting too preachy and hyperbolic for me. Butterflies from the exhibit in the conservatory at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden last summer:


Magic Wings )
littlereview: (photos)
What The Thrush Said )

It was unseasonably warm but rainy on Tuesday, so I did not have an eventful day outdoors. I had a quiet morning getting work done; after lunch, we dropped off Maddy at the mall so she could return some things, went to the park while waiting for her, then picked her up and went to the food store. I took a walk around the neighborhood before dinner in between bouts of drizzle, which was lovely in the temperate weather.

We watched The Flash's part of the CW's four-night DC event but I have to admit that apart from cheerful Supergirl, I didn't care about what was going on with any of the angsting, self-involved heroes. For some reason I can put up better with the angsting of the self-involved nobles of Versailles, whose season finale we watched afterward! Vultures by the water, on the rocks, and in the sky at Great Falls last weekend:


Big Black Birds )
littlereview: (green little review)
Why I Don't Piss in the Ocean )

I expected Monday to be quiet and routine, but Alice had an appointment in Bethesda, so Maddy and I went to lunch with her at Zoe's Kitchen, then stopped at CVS and Starbucks for necessities (lightbulbs, hair stuff, and caffeine). When we got back, I did my best to catch up on everything that didn't get done Thanksgiving weekend and took niece to work.

We caught up on Sunday's TV including the Elementary "it's people!" episode in between Supergirl (awesome women this year though I still miss Cat) and Timeless (awesome women this week, at least). Here are some photos from Great Falls, Virginia yesterday, including Matildaville ruins, vultures on the beach, and canoes going over the falls:


Great Falls In Fall )
littlereview: (get critical)
Station 40 )

Daniel is back in Seattle, from which we are chatting about the endless Chiefs-Broncos game, and Adam is back in College Park, where he is working on a computer science project, while Maddy is upstairs getting ready to work her fifth day in a row tomorrow after a very long, busy weekend. Paul made us and my mother brunch in the morning (my father stopped by briefly but he had a tennis game), then we dropped Maddy off at work and drove Daniel to Dulles, where he was glad to find his flight could get NFL broadcasts.

Since we were already in the state, we went with Adam to the Virginia side of Great Falls, which was chilly but not crowded, so we had no problem scrambling over the rocks to watch the kayakers come down the river and to see the dozens of vultures that apparently nest in rocks we can't see from the Maryland side. Eventually we took Adam to the University of Maryland, came home for dinner and to retrieve Maddy, then watched this week's Madam Secretary, much of which stretched credulity, and Westworld, which remains excellent.


Great Falls and Travel )
littlereview: (green little review)
Football )

On Saturday we picked up my parents and drove up to Paul's parents' house in Hanover, though Maddy couldn't come because she had to work just after noon. We went to the Hibachi Buffet for lunch, then we went back to Clair and Cinda's house and watched the Michigan-Ohio State game, which was great until the second overtime. Maryland beat Rutgers, which I cared about more!

We drove home through a lovely sunset, dropped off my parents, stopped at the food store, then came home, where Adam's girlfriend met us and we all played Machi Koro, taking a break to retrieve Maddy and check out the score of the Florida-Florida State game. Now Adam is interviewing Daniel about working at Amazon for a class on leadership. A few pics from our day:


Saturday )
littlereview: (photos)
A Few Surprising Turns )

Everyone here slept late -- Maddy because she stayed up all night watching Gilmore Girls, the rest of us because we stayed up not-quite-so-late watching Westworld. Then we had lunch, took a walk, and went to the mall to see Doctor Strange -- a nightmare to get to given the state of the Black Friday parking lot, but just as enjoyable the second time, and Daniel and Adam are better versed in Infinity Stones than I am.

We had Thanksgiving seconds with my parents and watched some football, then came home for more Westworld while everyone caught up on email, homework, etc. (plus we watched some Arizona-Arizona State while people were in the shower). Maddy has worked very long hours this week and got off an hour late tonight. I didn't take any photos today, so here are some from last July at Great Falls of this spring's goslings:


Spring Babies )
littlereview: (jewitch)
The Thanksgivings )

I spent Thanksgiving like a lot of other people I know did: breakfast and Macy's Day Parade with Paul and the kids, early football, superb Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' (fake turkey for three of us, real for the rest, plus sweet and mashed potatoes, carrot souffle, cranberry sauce, and lots of dessert), then driving Maddy to work, catching a Snorlax in the park, coming back to my parents' for the Redskins game, dessert, then home for a movie (Victor Frankenstein, which we'd seen before though Daniel and Adam had not). Hope everyone else who celebrates had as nice a day! A few pics:


Thanksgiving )
littlereview: (jewitch)
When Giving Is All We Have )

I have both my sons at home, and Maddy is baking in the kitchen and Christine is playing with our cats. I did laundry in the morning, dropped Maddy off at work, then we went to College Park, picked up DP Dough, and ate it at Adam's apartment before driving him home. We spent the afternoon watching The Force Awakens because Daniel had never seen it, picked up Maddy, and had pot pie for dinner.

Christine came over while Adam and Maddy, who had gone shopping together earlier, were baking apple pie for Maddy to take to work tomorrow where the staff is celebrating Thanksgiving together between movies though being a vegetarian she probably won't be able to each much. She watched Harry Potter movies in the kitchen while the rest of us watched Kubo and the Two Strings, which we all liked, especially the visuals.


The Day Before Thanksgiving )
littlereview: (green little review)
The Soul in a Body )

Daniel had to work most of a regular day Tuesday, though he took a break to go out to lunch with my parents while we took Maddy to the cosmetology school to see about getting her hair cut and colored. Otherwise I spent the day sorting and uploading weeks' worth of photos on which I'd gotten behind, and I went for a walk to enjoy the cool weather though I also spent a lot of time removing cats from vents.

We had chick'n with pasta for dinner and watched The Flash, which is not holding my interest this year as much (I do love Tom Felton but a lot of the material already feels like it's recycling). Then, since Daniel had not seen it, we saw X-Men: Apocalypse, whose opening and closing warg battles are still too long but there are a lot of character bits I like. From Tilden Park a couple of weeks ago:


Still In Leaf )
littlereview: (get critical)
In November )

Cheryl came over on Monday while Daniel and Paul were both working in the morning. We went to get California Tortilla, for ourselves, them, and Maddy, then we watched several episodes of The Crown, including the Churchill-heavy "Act of God" which I really appreciate.

Then, when everyone was done with work for the day, we all went to the mall to see Fantastic Beasts, which I loved. Unlike the HP movies, I wasn't spoiled for anything from books, so it felt like a fresh take on the magical world, old New York was charming, the women were great, the creatures were adorable!

We had dinner in the mall food court -- Cheryl and I had Cava, everyone else had deli. After she went home, Paul and I caught up on Madam Secretary between Supergirl (much better this season) and Timeless (still preposterous but holding my interest). Some photos from Great Falls as winter approaches:


November Falls )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Landing Under Water, I See Roots )

What a difference a day makes in terms of temperature -- we had high, cold winds all day on Sunday. Daniel slept late while Maddy got ready for work, during which time I discovered that Adam had finished his homework and asked whether he wanted to come to dinner. We dropped Maddy off at the theater, went to walk at chilly Great Falls, then drove to College Park to retrieve Adam and went to my parents' house.

We watched most of the Seattle-Philadelphia game intercut with the Patriots-49ers game, had hors d'oeuvres and dinner, and eventually took Adam back to UMCP, picking up Maddy on our way home. We saw most of the Washington game, then put on Westworld, which is either creating deliberate, interesting parallels to real world treatment of women and minorities by white men or is excruciatingly blind to them!


Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Any Common Desolation )

At midday Saturday, it was nearly 70 degrees, but by 5 p.m. it had dropped over 20 degrees and there were some flurries in the air. We dropped off Maddy at work after lunch and picked up Alice on the way to Reston Town Center, where we went to the Greater Reston Arts Center for the final day of Shih Chieh Huang's Synthetic Transformations, which is like a psychedelic underwater collection of jellyfish and squid. We also saw the Patrick Dougherty installation.

Then we went to ArtInsights, which I've wanted to visit for two reasons: the Harry Potter and Star Wars original concept art and the fact that it's co-run by Leslie Combemale, with whom I went to theater camp in the very early 1980s (we have friends in common but I hadn't seen her since then)! We took Alice home, stopped in briefly to say hi to Jeremy and Avery, came home for dinner, and went back to Virginia to get Daniel from Dulles, so he is here for Thanksgiving week!


Reston Town Center )
littlereview: (trek)
If You Were Coming in the Fall )

On Friday it reached 70 degrees in the DC area, giving me flashbacks to September when I was in a much better mood about so many things. I spent the morning working on a review of Voyager's "Waking Moments", which I tried to be nice about but it still isn't very good. Then all three of us had lunch and went to take a walk at Cabin John Park before going to Giant.

Alice, whose husband and son are in heavy training for a Rubik's Cube tournament this weekend, came over right after Maddy went to work and came to dinner with us at my parents' house. Then we came home and watched some more Versailles, which I am probably enjoying more than I should be given the level of nonsense but it's fun nonsense. From DC earlier this November:


Autumn Monuments )

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