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Descent )

[livejournal.com profile] dementordelta is here and we are going to the Pennsylvania RenFaire on Sunday! On Saturday we went to National Geographic Explorers Hall to see China's Forgotten Fleet: Voyages of Zheng He, about the eunuch admiral of the Ming Dynasty who sailed on seven voyages to India, Africa, the Arabian peninsula and many places in Europe, almost 100 years before Columbus set sail from Spain. The National Museum in China loaned National Geographic copies of his maps and the Quanzhou Maritime Museum provided ship models including a 10-foot-long replica of a treasure ship.


China's Forgotten Fleet )


[livejournal.com profile] apaulled made us lobster cakes for dinner while the kids were at the pool and we were watching Torchwood, then [livejournal.com profile] dementordelta and I went to see Bottle Shock, which was enormous fun -- Alan Rickman got to make every sneering, eye-rolling expression in his repertoire and Bradley Whitford and Eliza Dushku had bit parts. I liked Chris Pine a lot, too, even though I was trying not to because there is no way I am ever going to see him as Captain Kirk. It's lighter than Sideways and also has a gratuitous blonde love interest, but it's very entertaining. After the movie, we thought about stopping at Gifford's for ice cream, but the line was so long that we opted for going to the grocery store and getting whipped cream, fudge, peanut butter sauce and Moose Tracks. Gronk!
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Remembering )

Friday was another day spent with lots of cleaning and very little to show for it. I did manage to move an entire shelf of Starlog magazines down to the basement and move an entire shelf and a half of art books upstairs -- they'll be better protected if we have any more floods or anything, though their spines will be exposed to more sunlight and I'm hoping they won't fade. Had spontaneous lunch with [livejournal.com profile] gblvr at Minerva, which was yummy, and she played Jonathan Coulton for me and now I'm feeling Tom Cruise Crazy, heh.

Wrote a mediocre review of "Unnatural Selection" -- it is much easier to write a review of an episode that is truly inspired or truly awful than one that's just sort of meh, but then, I suppose it is also easier to write an episode that is truly inspired or truly awful than one that's just sort of meh. Had dinner with my parents, sounds like my sister and her kids are arriving on Wednesday, details to follow. Watched SGA, which I enjoyed very much, being the only person I know who likes Samantha Carter better than Rodney McKay. Spoilers. )


Kalmar Nyckel in Chestertown )


[livejournal.com profile] fridayfiver: Falling )
[livejournal.com profile] thefridayfive: Food )
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Summer Kitchen )

Younger son had a half-day of school, so I didn't accomplish a huge amount Friday, particularly since his best friend came home with him and stayed all afternoon while the friend's mother took her infant to the doctor. Wrote a review of "The Schizoid Man", discovered that if I needed yet another reason not to see the upcoming Star Trek reboot, Winona Ryder as Amanda is giving me one, fretted about the California oil spill, scowled that it was raining when I wanted to try to see the comet though this area needs the rain so I didn't scowl all that much.


Maryland Pride )


[livejournal.com profile] fridayfiver: And I Owe It All To You )
[livejournal.com profile] thefridayfive: Attack of Randomosity! )

Weekend plans depend a lot upon the weather!
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On the Death of Someone Close )

We spent all day Sunday at the Schooner Sultana Downrigging in Chestertown on the Eastern Shore, about an hour and a half from here across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge which is much less crowded at this time of year than in the summer. Like last year, the weather was glorious -- 60s, partly cloudy with occasional brilliant sunshine -- we brought a picnic that we ate at riverside and toured most of the open ships, including the Kalmar Nyckel, Sultana, Pride of Baltimore, Schooner Virginia, Mildred Belle, Lady Maryland and some ships that could be seen but not boarded like the Skipjacks Elsworth and Stanley Norman and buyboat Annie D. We've seen most of the visitors before but it's always wonderful to see so many ships in one place and to see the improvements that have been made since the last time we saw them.


Sultana Downrigging Festival )


Since we were out so much of the day, we missed seeing any of the Redskins come-from-behind-and-try-to-blow-it overtime victory over the Jets, though we did hear the very end of the game on the radio. We made it home for the end of the New England-Indianapolis game, and I would have been rooting wholeheartedly for the Patriots all along but I had to listen to my in-laws gloat about their win over the Redskins last week, which wasn't very nice...I didn't gloat when the Orioles beat the Red Sox! Watched Brotherhood, wanted to smack Michael upside the head (if I was Kath I might have but I also might just take my children and run far away), and Tommy just gets no sympathy from me anymore. These women all deserve better. Was glad to see that the space station's panel has been repaired and horrified by the images of flooded Villahermosa and still distressed about Pakistan and glad American Gangster had such a good opening weekend and now must sleep!
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The White Room )

I did three things primarily on Friday: packed for the beach, wrote a cranky review of TNG's "Coming of Age", and backed up my LiveJournal in its entirety at GreatestJournal and InsaneJournal, thanks to how-to information from [livejournal.com profile] penknife here and [livejournal.com profile] brown_betty here (I'm a longtime user of [livejournal.com profile] ljarchive, even though it doesn't work on my fan fiction community for reasons unknown, but this is the first time I've used [livejournal.com profile] ljsec either to change security settings or to migrate entries and I am going to send the creators a donation as soon as I'm finished cleaning up my GreatestJournal entries. Locking just the adult entries at my fic comm was a very time-consuming process but it's done now. I'm not quite finished custom-locking the Voyager fic here, but I figure there are two advantages to doing so: people who want to read my locked personal entries but not fan fiction won't have that stuff showing up on their friends lists, and I'll know that every single person seeing those posts here will not be offended. Really there is very little I have written that could be considered questionable, but I don't want to make legality the standard because there are still places where portrayals of two men kissing are illegal.

I also took the kids to lunch with [livejournal.com profile] perkypaduan, who will be babysitting Rosie and Cinnamon while we are at the beach. We had Thai food at the mall and went to look at shirts in Hot Topic (well, and I also looked for the Rose Titanic Barbie but KB Toys didn't have her). We had intended to watch The Natural, but came home to e-mail about the journal deletions and I wanted to lock my stuff at [livejournal.com profile] pornish_pixies right away. I think I got it all, but if anyone notices anything of mine that's not locked, I would appreciate it a lot if you told me! We had dinner at my parents' though I had (and still have) a screaming migraine, nail-pounding-over-the-right-eye sort. And I folded laundry watching Doctor Who, though I must say that the Dalek duology impressed me neither in terms of mythology nor in terms of characterization, though it had visuals I enjoyed and occasional sweet moments.

[livejournal.com profile] fridayfiver: Dragons )
[livejournal.com profile] thefridayfive: If )
[livejournal.com profile] fannish5: Deaths )
[livejournal.com profile] hp_fridayfive: Top 5 )


INS Tarangini )
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Bats )

All week I've felt like it was Friday, and then today I kept forgetting it was Friday and trying to make plans for weekdays this week no longer has. Wrote a review of "When the Bough Breaks", a Next Gen episode it is simply impossible to love, and against my better judgment let the kids watch Date Movie, which they knew about from Epic Movie and was free On Demand and rated PG-13, but despite the main character explaining at one point that because of the rating there can be no actual lovemaking, I'd have preferred actual lovemaking to the fat jokes and sleaze. I realize Date Movie gets it honestly -- it's sending up such truly atrocious movies as Shallow Hal -- but I felt like I had to sit there citing all the references so the vulgar stuff would have a context and really except for the Meet the Fockers and My Best Friend's Wedding bits, it was mostly crude slapstick, not nearly as on target as Epic Movie.

[livejournal.com profile] fridayfiver: Here Fishy Fishy )
[livejournal.com profile] thefridayfive: Favorite Quotes )
[livejournal.com profile] fannish5: Characters Needing Attention )
[livejournal.com profile] hp_fridayfive: Order of the Phoenix )

Extended family blather. ) This all came to light during dinner with my parents at a nice restaurant in Chevy Chase, followed by ice cream for the kids at Giffords -- I pretty much never go out for ice cream, it's not one of my weaknesses like chocolate bars, but their Swiss Chocolate is still my favorite flavor, though I was too full for it after shrimp at Clyde's. Came home and watched "The Shakespeare Code," having previously seen it on a miniscule television in Wales (not that I am in any way complaining, as I wish I could have watched the whole season on a miniscule television in Wales) and what a delight to be able to see such detail in the theatre and the performers' expressions. I love that they cast someone as Shakespeare who looks like the love child of Russell Crowe and Kenneth Branagh! And I love the Harry Potter connections -- what a perfect week to show this episode! Was talking to [livejournal.com profile] rexluscus about Patrick O'Brian books and got in the mood for some tall ship pictures...


Cisne Branco at Sail Baltimore )
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My Own Heart Let Me Have More Pity On )

Monday we got the haircuts we didn't manage to get Sunday -- what a difference at Hair Cuttery between weekend and weekday, we had no wait at all for four people. Otherwise not much happened worth reporting. I had to read and listen to an intolerable number of Kurtzman/Orci interviews about Transformers, in which they said that the upcoming Star Trek movie 1) either is or is not a prequel, 2) either is or is not a reboot, and 3) is under a veil of secrecy so no matter how many times they get asked, they're going to keep repeating the same stuff about Roddenberry's legacy, Cold War metaphors and blah blah blah. And I went hunting the web for the lyrics to Kate Rusby's "Exile" because the last time I did that, a few days ago, I stumbled across [livejournal.com profile] wolfling's Ninth Doctor vid to that song and got completely distracted, because that and her LOTR "Winter" vid are just wonderful.

Had dinner with my parents because we aren't going to see them again for a couple of weeks -- we are going to my in-laws' for the Fourth and a couple days after, then my mother is going with my sister to Canyon Ranch for a few days for some exclusive mother-daughter bonding (with a couple of sister's friends and their mothers) that apparently costs as much as a trip to Paris. (Clearly my priorities are out of whack and this is why my mother and sister are so much thinner and prettier than I am, ha.) Then came home and watched Dr. Who and the Daleks, which [livejournal.com profile] apaulled remembered that he had videotaped off very late night television while we were living in Chicago in the very early 1990s (complete with commercials -- at every single break we got one for a "meet the girl of your dreams" 900 number, do those things still exist since the internet?) It was -- oh, how to say this -- really quite dreadful, Peter Cushing and all, and gave me a vastly renewed appreciation even for the things I don't much like in the new series!


A Bit More Folklife Festival )


To quote a commenter on CNN, when King George II commuted his friend's sentence, and I saw the news headline pop up, I screamed something so inappropriate that my children came running to see what had happened. If we can't make the prison sentences stick on the lackeys, isn't it about damn time to impeach the people actually responsible? Or does George want us all distracted and screaming about Libby so we don't notice the lack of any progress whatsoever in Iraq? Maybe he can pay Paris Hilton to go back to jail and distract America further...
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The Politics of Dreams )

It was a relatively uneventful Father's Day around here because we had to do some trip-related shopping and pick my parents up from the airport, where they were returning from Greece via Frankfurt. We bought both kids new clothes, since older son has outgrown all his shorts and younger son has shredded all his pants but can't quite fit into older son's yet, plus we realized we should get a couple of bigger bathing suits and we all needed new beach shoes (I now own pink crocs, heh). We also stopped in a bookstore to get my father Opening Day, the new book about Jackie Robinson by Jonathan Eig, and discovered that they had the new Order of the Phoenix Snape action figures! (Just Snape -- no Series 2 Harry or anyone else -- but that was the one I really wanted!)

Despite it being Father's Day, [livejournal.com profile] apaulled decided he wanted burgers and s'mores for dinner and he'd grill them himself, so he did. I had gotten him a collection of Flash comics that he'd had on his wish list for a long time, since he said not to spend a lot of money; I think he's planning to go hunting for new tie-dyes at the beach. We stopped at the food store to get milk and cheese for my parents, took older son back and forth from a friend's house and then made the airport run, so more of the day was spent schlepping than anything else! It was over 90 degrees, so too hot to want to hike anywhere that wasn't mountainous anyway. Monday, however, we will be in Virginia Beach and will no longer care!


Ships at Sail Baltimore )


Hopefully there will be more ship pictures in the next few days from Virginia Beach and Jamestown, and I will post the rest of the Baltimore photos when I get back!
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Monkey )

We spent today in on the water in Baltimore, where Sail Baltimore is currently hosting Tall Ship Night, and most of the ships were already there today in anticipation. Two huge Naval ships, the Cisne Branco from Brazil (which we had boarded before) and the INS Tarangini from India (which we had not) were docked right in front of Harborplace, which was also crowded with musicians, magicians, animal balloon artists, vendors and a crowd moving between the science museum, carousel, World Trade Center, aquarium and the various other ships and boats. We walked around to Pier 4 behind the National Aquarium and Power Plant because the barque Picton Castle was there from Nova Scotia. By the time we had walked back around the harbor and visited the Maryland Science Center for a few minutes among the permanent exhibits and a snack, the HNLMS Urania from the Netherlands had just docked and was beginning to take down her sails.


Sail Baltimore )


We debated going to see Al Petteway and Amy White performing for free in a park near Baltimore, but the kids were a bit fried and we had lots to do to prepare for going to Virginia Beach on Monday, so we came home, ate our picnic here and did a bunch of cleaning and organizing. Prince of Egypt was on cable, and I hadn't seen it since the kids were much younger and we wanted to record it on DVD, so we half-watched it. I forgot how much I love that version of the story, not at all strict in its obedience to Exodus but I find the characters so much more appealing than The Ten Commandments with its overblown love triangle and over-the-top Charlton Heston. This one is a less pompous story of two brothers, their conflicts with their father figures, and the far more empowered women in Moses' communities than the dominant Egyptian culture. On a think-of-the-children scale, there are few tales as awful as Exodus, and in Prince of Egypt when Moses discovers that the father he loves fed babies like him to crocodiles, the scene is terrifying. I don't ever remember being scared during The Ten Commandments -- I was angry. (I also like that God's voice in Prince of Egypt is higher-pitched than Seti I's -- played by Patrick Stewart, with Val Kilmer as Moses, Ralph Fiennes as Rameses, plus Helen Mirren, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jeff Goldblum, Steve Martin, Martin Short -- has any other animated movie ever boasted such a voice cast?)
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Tam o' Shanter )

That's the poem that invented the fictional character for whom the Cutty Sark was named (if you prefer a version with a glossary, visit Burns Country). I'm so upset about the ship! I saw the BBC photos while looking up Patrick Stewart's new Shakespeare productions. We were at the ship in 2003 and took the tour in 2005 before she was closed to visitors for renovations. I hope those renovations are completed anyway, and I really hope it wasn't arson.


Last of the Great Clipper Ships )


I had to write about the aforementioned Stewart plays and can never decide how much of a prevaricator I think he is...he was desperately homesick for England, or for his much-much-much younger co-star from the last play he did over there before he dumped his American wife? Ah well, I'd love to see him in Macbeth anyway...I saw him in Othello and he was terrific. (In other good Trek news, Data has been inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame at Carnegie Mellon University.) And Tim Russ thinks CBS is going to let him charge money for Of Gods and Men, the Star Trek "not a fan film" starring Walter Koenig, Garrett Wang and several others who...well, let's just say that Star Trek was the highlight of their careers and they haven't stopped trying to make money off show their gratitude to the fans.

Younger son and his best friend have been having problems with an older kid in the neighborhood who keeps telling them stories about how he throws stones at cats when he sees them. Today the kid was provoking them, and they called him a loser, and he threw a stone at younger son and the friend, and the friend retaliated with a much larger stone, and a neighbor saw...needless to say things were Not Good. Now both my kids are grounded from video games, which seems to have older son in a better mood. Or maybe it's that I bought him Messenger, the sequel to The Giver, at Borders when I took younger son to the orthodontist in the morning. (Younger son wanted the novelization of Pirates 3; I got it for him on the condition that he not tell me about it.) I was excited to discover that they had Zerner and Farber's True Love Tarot for $3.99 -- I like her artwork very much.

[livejournal.com profile] perkypaduan came over (with sushi!) and brought Grey Gardens, the documentary about Jacqueline Kennedy's Bouvier cousins who were living in miserable co-dependent squalor in the family mansion in the Hamptons, the younger of whom ended up becoming a cult figure after this film, which she apparently took as a major compliment. I can't decide whether it's really amusing or really sad. As for the Heroes season finale...some aspects rocked (mostly character interactions between my favorite pairings all seasons, and I don't mean 'ships necessarily -- I mean Claire with her dad and Nikki and her alter ego, for instance). And some aspects were kind of confusing, like whether a character I never assumed had a super-power is actually using mind-control on her nearest and dearest or whether some of them are just wishy-washy pushovers. But as for the one I haven't liked all season, no tacked-on redemption could change my mind about that. Spoilers. )

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