Constellation )

Our Labor Day plan had been the Maryland Renaissance Festival, but as with the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire on Sunday, Cheryl couldn't go, nor could most of the friends we usually meet there. So we postponed that visit as well and instead went to Brookside Gardens, which still has lots of flowers, particularly roses outside and begonias in the conservatory, as well as many geese, herons, turtles, frogs, butterflies, grasshoppers, and songbirds:

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Just Before Autumn )


We had some shopping to do -- kitty litter, Pier One's end of summer sale, plus Roots Market since we were up that way so vegan pepper steaks, yay -- then we came home for veggie burgers and tater tots. We were surprised to discover that the season finale of Will was on, so we spent the evening around the Nationals victory and Orioles defeat catching up on the show though we won't get to the finale till we finish the episode before it. Hope everyone celebrating had a nice Labor Day!
Hotel Couplets )

We had planned to go on Sunday to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire with Cheryl, but she had a death in the family, so we postponed that and instead went to the National Building Museum's Hive exhibit since this is the last weekend for it. Hive was built by the Studio Gang out of nearly 3000 recyclable paper tubes, silver on the outside and hot pink on the inside, which interlock like Crystal Climbers to make beehive-looking structures with wind chimes and percussion instruments, plus there are build-your-own cardboard pieces and round benches to sit and stand on:

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Hive )


We also went to see the museum's Wright on the Walls (color your own Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece), the paper models, and Timber City, an exhibit on the wonders of modern sustainable forestry and wooden building construction sponsored in part by -- who else -- several lumber companies. Then we drove to College Park, picked up Adam, and took him to dinner at Rasoi where we had fabulous Indian food before we gave him the new luggage we got him to take to his Microsoft internship interview in Seattle next weekend. We came home, watched Endeavour, then sat through the end of the unfortunate Red Sox game.
A Stone Is Nobody's )

After a relatively quiet morning organizing Google Music genres, I spent most of my afternoon at Lebanese Taverna and Baskin Robbins with Karen, Heather, Angela, Lena, and Teresa, enjoying food and catching up since we hadn't all been in the same room in months. It was a truly lovely day marred only because another good friend had lost a family member, and although it wasn't a surprise since the family member had been quite ill, I was sad for my friend and it changed the rest of our weekend plans. I had a bit of shopping that had to be done late in the day, but otherwise it was a quiet evening save for when I discovered that there were two Raikou raids in Cabin John Park, so just after dinner (leftovers) I went to meet some GroupMe friends. The Team Mystic group won both raids and I caught the Raikou both times!

Then Paul and I watched Drone, which is a better movie than its reviews suggest. Sean Bean's character's white suburban Christian male life is built on illusion -- he thinks he has a good son who likes video games and a wife who loves him, though the camera angles and mirrors suggest otherwise. In fact he hardly knows his son, has lost his father, his wife has a lover, and his first-person shooter dream job is killing civilians in Pakistan. The confrontation over the drones isn't what's central, which seems to have frustrated reviewers who wanted a movie about the ethics of drone warfare like Eye in the Sky. I preferred the latter because the focus is so much more on the global cost, while the focus of this one is on the American, but both movies are about how dehumanizing drone strikes are for the people who perform them as well as for the people at whom they're aimed, and in that regard, this one works.

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Lunches )
The Cat And The Moon )

I heard that their might be Raikou raids on Friday morning, so I got up early to go to one before I had to start doing work. At the mall, my Pokemon Go app refused even to open correctly and I had to delete and reinstall it, missing the raid completely, but then I went to the park near my parents' house with a group of eight people and caught Raikou on the first throw! Alice and Avery came over in the late morning and we went to another raid near Potomac Village and we won the gym battle, though none of us caught the Raikou.

Alice, Avery and I had lunch at Vie de France in Potomac Village and stopped in Rite Aid, then came back to my house and watched most of Pokemon Heroes: Latios and Latias, which I know I saw back in the day but did not remember at all. After they went home, I worked on some things and repurposed a bracelet that was too big for me. Paul came home early because of the holiday, we went to my parents' for dinner, and we've spent most of the evening watching the Navy and Wisconsin games. The Mission at San Luis Obispo:

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Church and Museum )
Fireflies in the Garden )

I made up for being home Tuesday and Wednesday by being out all day Thursday -- first some shopping (AC Moore and Michaels, totally unsuccessfully), then lunch with Kay at Tara Thai and a walk around Washingtonian Lake, then more shopping (Target, successful in that I only bought Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and three pairs of $1 Halloween socks), then meeting Paul at home and going to have dinner with Karen at Mellow Mushroom in Rockville Town Center (calzones, yum).

When we got home, we watched the next three episodes of The Tick around the start of the Ravens-Saints preseason game, which Baltimore managed to win by one point. (Washington beat Tampa Bay too, though the Orioles and Nationals both broke their streaks.) Happy Labor Day weekend if you're in the U.S.! Here are some photos from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden's Wild Art exhibition, intended to show off the garden as natural community art experience involving both regional artists and garden visitors:

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Wild Art )
Who Learns My Lesson Complete )

We had gorgeous weather Wednesday -- still cool, but no rain -- though I had no car, since Paul's car was getting the radio fixed, so I enjoyed it close to home without even a single Pokemon raid in the park until he got home and we went to pick it up. I got a bunch of work done, caught up on some mail, watched some of the Orioles game which they did not lose (nor did the Nationals, both bullpens are somehow not blowing leads).

Our neighbor and cat-sitter Rose came over to visit the cats and showed us photos from her previous career as a bodybuilder -- we had not realized that she was in The Cannonball Run and a bunch of commercials! Paul made chick'n with mambo sauce for dinner, then we watched the first three episodes of The Tick, which I enjoyed a lot though I miss Captain Liberty and Bat Manuel from the old one. Butterflies from Richmond:

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Richmond Wings )
Naturalization )

It rained from before dawn till after sunset on Tuesday. This was gloomy, though the temperatures were more October than August -- I don't think we got above 70 degrees at any point -- so it was also quite pleasant, especially since so much of the country is suffering under vastly worse weather conditions. My day was mostly about chores and work but I had cats keeping me company and it wasn't pouring at any point when I had to drive, though there were some periods when it was really coming down.

For dinner we had leftover Chinese food from lunch with Paul's parents last weekend, then we watched the last two episodes of The Last Tycoon, which I enjoyed greatly and discovered only after the fact that its reviews were mixed for reasons I don't quite understand -- oh, parts of it are predictable even if you haven't read Fitzgerald and parts of it are heavy-handed, but the acting is great and there are lots of interesting women and non-white people. I miss the touristy shopping in Pismo Beach:

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Pismo Beach Town )
What Watches Over You )

I had lots of things to get done on Monday and instead spent most of the day bogged down in bureaucracy that required a lot of phone calls. Some of them were enjoyable (to my niece for instance) and some just frustrating. But I only got 1/3 of the laundry done and none of the online files posted that I need to catch up on, and I didn't even manage to solo a Machamp raid in my neighborhood.

I had my leftover pancakes from Richmond for lunch and frozen veggie riblets for dinner, after which we watched two more episodes of The Last Tycoon, which remains heavy-handed in certain storylines but is pretty effective in others, fair to its women characters so far, and extremely well acted. Here are some of the sea lions, otters, and other animals in Morro Bay near San Luis Obispo:

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Bay Animals )
Butterfly )

We spent Sunday in Richmond with Cheryl, meeting first at Three Lakes Park, where we brought picnic food and walked around to see the turtles and skinks. Then we met Lin at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, which has both the Butterflies Live exhibit in the conservatory and Wild Art, a display of nature-inspired and created installations like "Earth Healer" and "Turtle Island" in the photos below. The gardens were also having a Late Summer Lawn Party with music, tours of Bloemendaal House, and displays of costumes and early bicycles.

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Richmond Summer )


We went to dinner with Cheryl at River City Diner (I had breakfast food, which is about all my stomach can handle after a week of vacation and a week of end-of-summer meals out), then we drove home in moderate traffic in time to stop for kitty litter before putting the trash out and watching Endeavour, which has been excellent this season and clearly aiming for modern relevance despite the pre-Morse setting. Afterward we watched another episode of The Last Tycoon, which is doing the same, sometimes heavy-handedly but the acting makes it worth it.
On A Play Twice Seen )

After a quiet morning organizing and printing photos to take with us, we spent Saturday afternoon with Paul's parents in Thurmont, where we ate lunch at Simply Asia, watched wedding video and looked at California photos, then went out for ice cream and donuts for dessert though I was too full to eat either. They were sad not to have been at the wedding but happy to see pictures.

We got home in the early evening, swept the deck and did some cleanup in the backyard, watched some baseball and some football (yay Orioles, yay Nationals, LOL L.A. football), then watched several episodes of The Last Tycoon, which is excellent. Speaking of California pictures, here are some photos of the shore, pier, and boardwalk at Pismo Beach last week, which I already miss!

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Pacific Seaside )
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