For Rhoda )

We'd been thinking of spending Sunday at a reenactment of a Roman legion at George Mason University, which we figured Daniel would enjoy for his birthday weekend, but rain was in the forecast, so instead we went to the National Zoo where we figured we could easily duck into an indoor exhibit if it started to pour -- which it did a couple of times, but never for more than ten minutes. We went through the Asia Trail, the small mammals, the reptiles, the birds and the under-construction elephant house, where because it was neither very hot nor very cold, we saw lots of animals who seemed more active than they often are. Here, have some small mammals for Rosh Hashanah, which will have started before I post again:


National Zoo September 2008 )


We stopped at The Melting Pot downtown to have a look around, because we're thinking about having Adam's Bar Mitzvah reception there. We'd been thinking about taking the kids out to an expensive dinner there in honor of Daniel's birthday, but Daniel announced that he wanted to go to Cici's Pizza! Since this saved us $100 or so, we agreed, though I won't even bother to mention the quality of the food at the latter. At least they had the Redskins game on, so we got to watch Washington beat Dallas!

The kids wanted to watch the season premiere of The Simpsons when we got home, then I put on The Talented Mr. Ripley, which I'd never seen -- I missed most R-rated movies between 1996 and 2006 due to having small children and I'm still catching up. What a great film, for which I was thankfully unspoiled, and what great performances! Spoilers. ) There are two articles in the Sunday Washington Post to which I want to link: one for political reasons on what will happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned, one for personal reasons because the rabbi in this article on spiritual searching in D.C. officiated at Daniel's Bar Mitzvah (and if I'd known he was so unhappy at the synagogue, I probably would have been friendlier with him). And on that note, as I prepare myself for my least favorite holidays of the Jewish year...Happy New Year!
The White Fires of Venus )

Adventure! Excitement! A Jedi craves not these things! And neither should you if you are reading this entry because there's no excitement here! My lunch date couldn't make it, my older son brought a friend home so the house was noisy, and there's just not much to report. I did write a review of "The Measure of a Man", possibly the greatest Next Generation episode of all, and took younger son to the local high school to pick up the oranges his middle school's band sold as a fundraiser, and lugged a gigantic box of oranges from the van to my parents' kitchen, and put my own box of oranges out on the deck where it was nice and cool till my husband got home so he could tell me whether the bowl of what appears to be yellow puke in one of the crisper drawers was some science project as opposed to something he stuck in there and never got rid of. (It's gone now. At some point it was apparently a component of some elaborate cookie batter that never got finished.)

Poor Richard Leigh! I think he sued Dan Brown because now, instead of the first line of his obituary reading "...author of Holy Blood, Holy Grail," his obituary reads "author of one of the books that inspired The Da Vinci Code." (I know, I should be more concerned about Evel Knievel or the arrests in the Sean Taylor shooting or the hostage crisis at the Clinton campaign, not to mention the fact that the state of Kansas is about to ensure that no woman in the US who needs a late-term abortion to protect her life or health will be able to get one, but it's Friday night and my brain is not going there.)

[livejournal.com profile] fridayfiver: Presenting )
[livejournal.com profile] thefridayfive: Pointing Things Out )


A Few Final Zoo Photos )


Like a dork I watched the Flash Gordon fall finale...had intended to ignore it, but it had evil witches possessing other people's bodies and hurling fireballs and stuff. *g* Miniscule spoilers. ) And then we watched SGA, which was amazing. Emmy-caliber stuff from David Hewlett level amazing, and I'm not even a Rodney fan. Bigger spoilers. )
Smoke )

It was an all morning project but all my holiday cards are in the mail as of Friday! In other news, I worked on css for littlereview.com -- I think I am getting somewhere slowly, though I am still relying on templates to tell me what I'm doing, rather than trying to write it from scratch as I tend to do with html. Many thanks everyone who gave me links! And I folded four loads of laundry while watching The Sixth Sense which was available On Demand through tonight, and I haven't seen it in years and had forgotten how good that movie is...in many ways better, I think, when you know the twist and can watch to see how the illusion is constructed. But I am a total failure at getting rid of crap in my house. I was taking stock of my Barbies to see which I could put up for auction, and I discovered that I don't have the full set of American Stories Barbies -- I don't have the Civil War nurse or either of the Native American Barbies, and I didn't have the second Pioneer Barbie until eBay today (c'mon, $4.99 plus shipping, who could resist). So my cleanup efforts have netted more Barbies in the house rather than less thus far. Sigh.


Autumn into Winter at the Zoo )


We had dinner Thursday night with my parents because they won't be around for Shabbat dinner on Friday. Then we came home and discovered that the documentary on JMW Turner narrated by Jeremy Irons that we saw a couple of weekends ago at the National Gallery of Art was on our local PBS station, so we all watched that, then the Animal Planet Big Cats show. Now there's some Eric Clapton special on. And -- this will come as news to no one -- LiveJournal has yet more idiotic, ill-thought out policies now in place! (We can still say "idiotic" without being flagged for inappropriate content, can't we?) I am tempted to draw a comparison with religious leaders who would rather accuse and punish people for alleged conspiracies to blaspheme than engage in actual dialogue toward understanding, but someone might report that as hate speech.
Psalm )

I wish I had something exciting to report but I feel like this is a very boring time of year. Don't get me wrong, a fun time of year anticipating stuff, though for me it's a bit melancholy since I keep getting reminders that I am getting old and I don't just mean because my children tell me so regularly. *g* Daniel decided I could have the really soft warm microfiber animal print throw my mother got him months ago that he had never even taken out of the package, so I am sitting very comfortably under it in my new chenille sweater on sale at Sears for under $20 -- I love chenille and microfiber, and velvet and velour and all the soft snuggly things this time of year. And I love the bourbon chicken in the mall food court, and I had that for lunch since I was out shopping for presents and returning stuff. Am working on framesets for littlereview.com's photo pages...right now they're in html, next up is learning css for that!

The rest of my squee for the day is stuff like the baby bottlenose dolphin at the National Aquarium and the fact that I can keep watching the Alan Rickman clip from Sweeney Todd over and over, even though I am wildly ambivalent about that movie...absolutely adore the casting but then I am terrified about the music, having grown up with the Lansbury-Cariou Broadway album in the days when albums were vinyl, and does Alan remind me a bit too much of Snape swooping around and will that affect Snape for me in the movies and I am overthinking this! Evening television was the Shrek Christmas special, which was cute enough but why must ogres celebrate Christmas as opposed to some ogre-specific solstice holiday that would have made me much happier while conveying the same message about togetherness and blah blah blah? Anyway, in Donkey's honor:


On the Farm At the Zoo )


After Shrek we watched the Grinch because it was on, and then Pushing Daisies. I'm sure it was the fault of the Christmas specials, but I was thinking about the dead fruit and the pies and the loaves and the fishes, and "Morning Has Broken" and "Birdhouse in Your Soul" and Ned's pacifism and Chuck as Christ figure, and lots of other potentially cracked theological analysis which I threw aside when I couldn't fit the sex doll into the equation. When did sex dolls become so mainstream? Between Boston Legal and Lars and the Real Girl and this, I'm starting to feel uncool because I've actually never seen a sex doll live. Spoilers. )
Seagulls )

It's been a frustrating media day since the power went out unexpectedly just around midnight. In the morning I went looking for news on the Annapolis peace summit and got swept up in city-wide grief over a football player. Representatives of 40 countries sit down to discuss difficult issues, with the US president in attendance, and even though it's probably mostly ceremonial and Dubya doesn't deserve any credit for progressive initiative, you'd think the news in the US capital could give the talks and the demonstrations and the editorials a bit more coverage than "tune in later, Redskins coach to hold press conference" or referring people several pages into the newspaper in order to put photos of a candlelight vigil around an empty parking spot at Fed Ex Field on the front page. Sean Taylor's death is a senseless tragedy -- something that occurs almost nightly in this city, I'm sorry to say, though Taylor was murdered in Florida -- and the level of hysteria over a sports star is somewhat bizarre.

When the kids got home, I dropped Adam off at Hebrew school and took Daniel shopping for new black trousers, since he told me just yesterday that he had to come to school on Wednesday dressed in his chorus performance outfit and the black trousers he used for that purpose last spring are now two sizes too small. (The tuxedo shirt only barely fits but I'm not paying to replace that until I absolutely have to, and he is wearing Paul's dress shoes because they fit well enough if he wears thick socks!) When we got home I went through his closets and drawers to see what should be handed down to Adam, and discovered that both of them have a small collection of brand new shirts given as gifts by my mother (who had a tooth pulled earlier, ouch) that they have never worn because they don't like the collars on them.


National Zoo Poison Dart Frogs )


We watched A Charlie Brown Christmas because it was on, though it's kind of silly because we own it on DVD. There's something about communal national watching, even though I dislike most Christmas specials and the commercial American fantasia of christmas (lower case because it's in no way a religious holiday) that inspires a two-story fake mountain with a laser light show to encase the Santa Claus in my local mall. Later, after giving up on finding television news with more than superficial coverage of the peace conference, we turned on PBS and watched Ghost Ship, The Mary Celeste, which was a bit depressing but rather interesting.

No one ever likes Occam's razor when there's a conspiracy to be had, do they? And speaking of Razor...I recorded it but haven't watched it. I haven't been in the mood, heard very mixed reviews particularly over evil lesbian stereotypes and am wondering whether the last season is ever going to get filmed, since it sounds like the actors at NBC in particular are very pissed off over how the network is treating them during the writers' strike and may not return to work after not being paid for weeks if the strike drags on. Time to rewatch the Sharpe series I think!
Worked Late on a Tuesday Night )

I spent the morning playing with my web pages at littlereview.com trying to teach myself more CSS than I already know...does anyone have recommendations for really good web sites or a CSS For Dummies type book? I still have lots and lots of work to do...in particular, I need to come up with an index page for my photos where I have some kind of menu in a sidebar and can make photos come up in the main content area. And then I need to figure out how to do the same for my 1000+ reviews and stuff...I deliberately kept the html on those pages very simple in case one day I figured out how to design tables or framesets for something similar, but I've never found a way to use tables or framesets that worked consistently on most browsers the way CSS seems to. I might even get out our ancient Mac to see how things look on that monitor.

Right after school I had to pick up both kids, drop some stuff off at the library that was due today and then take them to the opthalmologist. As usual the doctor was running more than a half hour late, and as usual it took twenty minutes for the drops to dilate their eyes, so we were there well into the evening, with them bored and running their mouths endlessly. Opthalmologist had Happy Feet on in the office and when we came home I had put on a clip of an old friend's sister, a professional singer, performing "Think of Me" which led to Phantom of the Opera on the TV before Heroes. There was no point in trying to watch the news; there could have been a nuclear war in Asia and a Redskin getting shot would still have had ten minutes of air time first. I wanted to know what was going on with the Mideast peace talks, but it was all Sean Taylor. And I can't read news and do dishes at the same time.


National Zoo Prairie Dogs )


Watched both Heroes and Journeyman half-attentively while conversing with kids and distracting cats. Uninspired spoilers. ) When the NBC lineup finished, we watched the end of the silliest Monday Night Football game ever, 3-0 with the only score in the final minute of the game. The punts just landed and stuck on the soaking wet field. Of course, the last there was a 3-0 loss, the loser was...the Redskins!
Tonight I Can Write )

Nicole and Harris spent the day off doing their own thing, so my parents asked whether they could bring her girls along with us when we told them we were going to the zoo. It was a perfect day to be outdoors, in the opinion of everyone but my mother who considers mid-50s too cold; we didn't arrive till after 2 p.m. so didn't have time to see all the animals, but we went through the farm area, spent a lot of time in Amazonia, walked up the loop past the bears, wolves and North American mammals, and headed to the Bird House (Adam's favorite) and Asia Trail, though most of the animals in the latter were already off display for the evening by the time we arrived. We put off the invertebrates until we can visit [livejournal.com profile] perkypaduan working there!


In Amazonia )


Maryland beat North Carolina State 37-0, which hopefully means that the Terps will be going to a bowl! We're sort of watching the Missouri/Kansas game, since the kids were up and yakking at us and we didn't think we should put on The Upside of Anger with them watching. And I'm fried from the cats insisting that we should get up regular schoolday time to feed them (Daisy has figured out how to throw my alarm clock onto the floor by the cord) so shall make it an early night!
Farewell, Love )

My father again volunteered to take the boys to the pool, so I took them over there late in the morning, then went and had lunch and shopping with [livejournal.com profile] gblvr -- very garlicky hummus and Ulta, so parts of me smelled good and parts of me had garlic breath. Then I came home because I had a lot of work to catch up on...a long, mostly boring interview with Garrett Wang about hijinks on the Voyager set we've heard about before, actual Trek comic news from Comic-con, and a short note about Nana Visitor appearing on Battlestar Galactica that had to be padded with other MooreRon quotes...am weighing the presence of Visitor, the likely return of Lucy Lawless and my adoration of Mary McDonnell against the things Moore is likely to do to characters I like, particularly women, and don't know whether to watch next season or not.

Otherwise much of my day was dedicated to fannish pursuits, including reposting a massive revision of the longest fic I have ever completed, finishing a story for a gift comm and chatting with various people. Also went to look up the items in question in the Fisher-Price Toy Recall (mostly Sesame Street and stuff much too young for my kids, but wanted to make sure there were no penguins in there) and ran across the Minneapolis news...I really hope no one here was affected, though really I wish no one was affected at all (I'm pretty sure we went over that bridge when we visited from Chicago for a Redskins-Vikings game). Those photos of the school bus on the crumbling bridge really freak me out.


Maryland Zoo Birds )


LiveJournal is slow as molasses tonight so I had better post this before it gets too insanely late! Have fun at Prophecy, everyone who's off!
The Generations I Praise )

Again older son had high school orientation in the morning, so since I was driving in [livejournal.com profile] perkypaduan's direction we went out for lunch at California Tortilla with my kids. I usually get lost when I am on that side of the Beltway but I have now done it two days in a row, so hopefully I am improving! Finished a major editing project in the afternoon, sorted some stuff that needed to be organized for the beach next week, tried to catch up on mail.

In the evening sat down with the kids who had on The Simpsons eighth season which they have been working through slowly since older son got it as a Chanukah present and discovered that "The Springfield Files" is in that set...the one with Leonard Nimoy as himself and Duchovny and Anderson as Mulder and Scully, where Mr. Burns is an alien who sings "Good Morning Starshine" with Nimoy and the rest of the town and the FBI lineup includes Chewbacca, Marvin the Martian and Alf...there are references to everything from Close Encounters to Plan 9 From Outer Space to Waterworld and I forgot just how awesome that one is!


Summer at the Zoo )


I have so much to do in the next three days! My father is taking the kids to the pool tomorrow but I need to find another bathing suit for older son and need his body with me to do it, and I need to clean the house so [livejournal.com profile] perkypaduan does not scream when she sees it. Eee!
Tortures )

Older son had high school orientation this morning...he wasn't thrilled about being in school in the summer and I am distinctly ambivalent about having a child in high school! My mother was out in the same direction picking up the Bar Mitzvah albums (FINALLY -- they were finished months ago but she wanted to pick out frames for photos and this was the first time she and the photographer managed to get together) so she picked son up and we met at a local shopping center where she was meeting a friend for lunch. I took the kids to do a couple of chores, then home for awhile, then my father took them to the pool while I wrote Trek news (Quinto braces self for Trekkies who know ten thousand times more about Spock than he does, Shatner and Collins flirt on Fan Collective - Captain's Log and waaah why can I not get my CBS contact to write me back about a review copy of this one because although I have all the episodes, I want that commentary!).

Had dinner with [livejournal.com profile] dementordelta, [livejournal.com profile] rubyrosered and [livejournal.com profile] snapetoy whom I had had very little hope of ever meeting since she lives on the other side of the world, so I did not want to miss an opportunity while she was in my state! We had Indian food, which was delicious and I packed up the leftovers to go home but then the container leaked not only all over the back seat of Ruby's car but all over my gray dress that two laundries (first I tried cold water, then hot, based on quick check online for advice) have failed to wash out. Woe! This is why I wear so much black. *g* Anyway, we discussed the state of fandom and Snarry and the gorgeous full moon (*waves to Remus Lupin*) and museums and the Royal Family, and then I came home to some spectacular wankery which I am staying the hell out of. Except to say that I don't think racism and censorship are the issues, but rather ignorance and insensitivity and how communities are managed. And oh dear, in my efforts to occupy a wank-free zone, I had better go back to non-controversial topics like dirty kinks and adorable things:


Baby Chimpanzee )


RIP Ingmar Bergman: it is impossible to imagine the film medium without you. Must make time to watch The Seventh Seal again soon.
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