Laughing Song )

On Sunday Paul and I went downtown with Alice and Jeremy and their son, starting at the US Botanical Garden which is glorious with flowers in this winter season, then stopping at the Air and Space Museum before crossing the mall for lunch at the National Gallery of Art -- where, truth be told we spent more time trading Pokemon and looking in the gift shop than admiring art -- but it was great to spend an afternoon with all of them, which none of our schedules has permitted in a while!

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Colorful Downtown )


We stopped at Giant for toilet paper, laundry detergent, and fresh crusty bread on the way home, so we could have hollandaise chick'n with crusty bread and butter for dinner while doing laundry. We have too much Valentine's Day candy still in the house! After dinner we watched Crooked House, which I knew nothing about besides Agatha Christie and Gillian Anderson, so there were a lot of fun casting surprises, but the ending was much darker than I was expecting. At least there are flowers outside!
Having This Day My Horse, My Hand, My Lance )

We spent Sunday afternoon in Hanover with Paul's parents, taking Adam and Katherine with us. We went to lunch at the Hibachi Buffet, then drove to Hanover Shoe Farms, where we saw several mares with foals and many more horses out galloping in the fields. On the way back to Clair and Cinda's house, we stopped at the Utz Factory Store, where we got discount chips and chocolate covered pretzels. Then we celebrated Clair's birthday a day early at their house before leaving just as the sleet began to fall.

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In Hanover )


Near home, at least, we've only had rain. Adam and Katherine had too much homework to finish to have dinner with us (UMCP has classes on President's Day), so we had late sandwiches while watching Supergirl (yay Nia), Victoria (so many layers of ahistorical tripe and dramatic hyperbole), and Madam Secretary (a bit contrived as well, but without the aristocracy-adoring, empire-excusing stuff). Now we're watching John Oliver's breakdown of impending Brexit scenarios, each of which seems worse than the previous one.
Apology for Apostasy )

I had a nice busy Saturday in Gaithersburg, starting with lunch with Karen at Thai House, which Paul and I had not been to before; we had green curry and tofu with peanut sauce, and they were both fantastic, plus I got to see Karen. Then we went to Washingtonian, where we stopped in Kohl's for men's shirts and women's Skechers on a huge sale.

Then we walked around the lake along with throngs of gamers for Pokemon Go Community Day, at which I caught many Swinub including several shinies and evolved several Mamoswine. Adam (who does not play) and Katherine (who does play) came and met us at Starbucks and we walked around the lake again with them so we could catch more shinies.

After walking for hours, we went to BGR for dinner and Lilly Magilly's for dessert, though I was too full for cupcakes. Afterward, Adam and Katherine went back to College Park and Paul and I came home to watch some Endeavour and the excellent, very depressing movie Apostasy, about a single mother and her daughters and their experiences as Jehovah's Witnesses.

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Out in Gaithersburg )
Are All the Break-Ups in Your Poems Real? )

My neighbor Rose took me to the movies on Friday, something we've had plans to do since before Aquaman opened though we never got to that one together. We saw Isn't It Romantic, which is very fun -- a rom-com that mocks the more terrible tropes of rom-coms, though I'm not sure that you get to have a stereotyped gay character and claim you're only doing it to scoff at the stereotype, though the Star Is Born remake has pretty much that character so maybe it still does need to be exposed for what it is. Rebel Wilson is delightful and though there's not enough Liam Hemsworth, he is shirtless quite a bit.

Rose had to go teach a fitness class in the afternoon, so I went to the park to take a walk since the weather was ridiculously nice -- in the 60s and sunny -- then came back here for a late lunch and some chores that had to get done. We had dinner at my parents' house, came home for Blindspot, then I made Paul watch The Last Song because I'd never seen it and needed more Liam Hemsworth. It's a lot more tolerable than most Nicholas Sparks adaptations. Here is some art from the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, including Christine Cardellino's funny-distressing presidential The Fisherman and His Wife:

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Art and Whimsy )
Love's Philosophy )

I had a very nice Valentine's Day! In the morning, Denise came over and visited with the cats, then we went to the mall and did some shopping, well, mostly browsing and trying on perfume in Sephora, plus we had bubble tea. I had sent her an invitation to the EX raid at the Pinchot Forestry Building, so we both caught Deoxys, then we went to another raid at Wyngate Woods Park and did some trades and Meltan-collecting before she had to head back to Baltimore.

Paul and I went to Sheba for dinner because we both love Ethiopian food, then we stopped at MOM's since it was right around the corner and has peppered pastrami tofurkey. We came home for The Orville, which was great -- very TNG only stronger allegory about homophobia and outing, and more realistic crew relationships -- then we caught up on Victoria, not realistic at all! My card from Paul, who also got me a National Cherry Blossom Festival bracelet:

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With Stan Lee Cameo )
To a Waterfowl )

Wednesday was cold but sunny, which made me so happy! I did all my work in the morning so I could go meet friends in the mall at Starbucks (where I ran into my dad on the way, having lunch with a friend in the food court), after which we went to the park for raiding and walking in the sunshine! I even saw snowdrops! My cat-sitter neighbor, Rose, came over for a while before dinner, since I had New York souvenirs for her and she had treats for the feline members of my family.

We had pasta for dinner, then watched The Masked Singer, which keeps getting more fun since everyone who's left can actually sing and most can dance (Hailee Steinfeld is definitely the Lion), followed by Full Frontal and some South Park. Here are some photos from Alexandria's waterfront of winter water fowl that we saw there, including seagulls, ducks, coots, geese, and pigeons, plus glass artist Diane Lietzau's fantastic studio view from the Torpedo Factory:

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Waterside Birds )
From 'The Building of the Ship' )

It rained all day Tuesday, which I suppose is an improvement on snowing all day but it was cold and gloomy and I'd rather have sun on snow. I did work in the morning, then went to the mall for bubble tea and Pokemon just to walk somewhere not cold and wet. I had to wait to get home because a mail truck and a UPS truck were parked on opposite sides of my cul de sac right next to each other so that no one could turn in.

After dinner we watched The Flash, which was a more interesting Nora episode than most (Groundhog Day scenarios are always fun anyway), then The Gifted, which was good though very violent and had a Terrible Thing happen that I hope does not end up being permanent. The Torpedo Factory houses the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, which in addition to artifacts from homes and shops has parts of a merchant ship unearthed there:

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Port City )
Poem on the Theme of Snow )

We got snow on Sunday night and sleet early Monday morning, so although it had all melted by lunchtime, it was a slow morning in the area. I did some work and laundry, then I went to meet friends at Starbucks for a raid and the last gasp of the weekend friending and trading event (I only got hot chocolate and a couple of random lucky Pokemon, but I traded UnhappyCow a perfect lucky Miltank, which made him a very happy UnhappyCow).

I took a bit of a walk but it was pretty rainy, so that didn't last long, and instead I stopped in Giant for cat food and some Valentine's Day necessities. I had a bunch more work to get done when I got home, then we had dinner and watched Black Lightning and some basketball. Here are some photos from the VMFA in Richmond's exhibit of Kawase Hasui woodblock prints of Japanese temples and shrines, mostly winter scenes:

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Japanese Shrines )
After a quiet morning of Sunday paper and some computer work, I got to spend most of Sunday with Annmarie, who is in town from Kentucky for an event with her former Army colleagues (she's retired but still done some PA events). We picked her up at a friend's house near Mount Vernon, which was our original destination, but the mansion and distillery were both closed this weekend, so since it was cold we decided to stay indoors and went to the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria instead.

We saw lots of painting, pottery, and jewelry, talked to lots of artists, and ate a chocolate croissant and part of an excellent baguette. Then we dropped our purchases off at the car and walked to Bilbo Baggins for dinner, where we shared the excellent brie en croute and I had gnocchi with Asian peanut sauce (my request). After dropping Annmarie off, we got home in time for the Grammys, which have had some good performances and lots of awesome girl power but have been endless!

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Art, Torpedo, Dinner )
Quickie watching SNL after Paul and I had a lovely day in Richmond: lunch with Cheryl at India K'Raja, then we met Lin at the VMFA for the Kawase Hasui woodcuts and Wenceslaus Hollar printmaking exhibition plus the Faberge collection and permanent contemporary art installations, then The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part with Cheryl which I thought was a lot funnier than its reviews suggested, then dinner at Noodles before Paul and I drove home. A few pics:

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Museum and Movies )
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