We're in New York to visit my mother's brother, who is very ill. Had lots of traffic on the drive up and spent most of the late afternoon/evening in a hospital, though I did get to have dinner with Paul and Nicole at a nearby deli in a neighborhood festive for Sukkot. I won't be around much this weekend. Some pictures from the drive up and one from our hotel room window overlooking Sheepshead Bay:

To New York )
Leave-Taking )

I am having a difficult, distressing week due to a critically ill relative and a bunch of plans that needed to be made and/or changed. A lot of my Friday involved shopping, laundry, and doing research online about places to stay and how to get places, though I did get to have milkshakes and fries with a friend from my Pokemon Go raiding group after an Entei raid.

I can't believe Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize, considering that Never Let Me Go is one of the most overrated pieces of "literature" of this era. But The Orville! With Charlize Theron! An alternate theory to Voyager's about what happened to Amelia Earhart! Directed by Jonathan Frakes! I can't believe Seth MacFarlane made this show! From South Mountain Creamery:

Happy Cows )
All the Difficult Hours and Minutes )

My day sucked, and I'm not going to Seattle to see Daniel this weekend because I'm going to another city to visit a relative who's in the hospital. Let's just leave it at that and look at some late summer photos from Brookside Gardens:

Summer Park )
Holy City )

I was running around all day on Tuesday to get ready to go to Seattle -- had breakfast and took a walk in Cabin John Park with my friend Mel, took Adam's bike to the bike repair place, shopped in Congressional Plaza and had lunch at Lebanese Taverna while waiting for the bike which it turned out they could get fixed in a little over an hour, and went to the food store to make sure we had enough cat food for our house-and-cat-sitter to keep our cats from desperation. In between I did a successful Entei raid and caught a legendary fire dog.

We had sandwiches for dinner and I worked on laundry while the Twins played the Yankees in the first post-season game, which started so nicely and proceeded to become terrible (though my sister went to the game to root for the Yankees so maybe I shouldn't say that, heh). I went looking to see whether Yuri on Ice could be bought or downloaded from anywhere but thus far have only found sketchy off-market DVDs and questionable download sites, waah. Here are some more photos from the Maryland Renaissance Festival on Sunday:

Renfaire Fun )
Flag )

Monday was a chore day so this will be a boring entry. It was nice out, albeit hot for September, and I got out to the park for a bit, but mostly I did work and laundry and listened to people argue about Discovery (including people who did not watch Discovery), which was nevertheless preferable to listening to the handful of people I know agreeing with the thing in the White House about suppressing the free speech of football players.

Maddy had plans with former work friends in the evening, though she had dinner with us first. Paul made veggie beef echiladas, and he and I watched the start of the Cowboys-Cardinals game, then some Bones episodes (the one with the Guy Fieri type cook and the one with the bullied boarding school girl). Trevor Noah just did a great job dissecting everything that's wrong with the president butting into the NFL. From Mount Vernon's Colonial Fair:

Around the Festival )
Three things hold me captive )

We had some ambitious plans for Sunday that included possible apple picking or walking around downtown, but we also had a bunch of chores to do, so we ended up being somewhat less ambitious after watching the Ravens embarrass themselves in London in the first of many crazy football games today. We had a bunch of shopping to do, so we stopped at the mall and some local stores, walked around Washingtonian Lake, and fixed up some things around the house.

My parents had a friend over for dinner and invited us to join them; they ordered pizza, we brought cookies and Maddy, and we ate out on the deck. Then we came home and declined the one free hour of Star Trek: Discovery in favor of the DC football game against the Raiders; I generally try to avoid them but even the jerk of an owner joined the players' solidarity display during the national anthem. Some farm festival photos around South Mountain:

Fair Season )
Love Song )

I had a very nice, very busy Saturday. In the late morning after Maddy went to work for the day, we met friends at Hot Fired Arts in Frederick, where we fused glass and painted pottery (which must now be fired in a kiln so we won't have the finished products for a couple of weeks). The rest of the group was going out for a late lunch/early dinner, but we ate bagels from Dunkin' Donuts next door because we needed to go straight from Frederick to Hanover.

Paul's aunts Jean and Nadine and their husbands (both Bobs) were visiting his parents -- Clair even donned the clown suit in which he used to visit kids in the hospital for them, though I'm not sure a clown suit was ever a good idea for sick kids -- and they had just finished touring around Gettysburg when we arrived. We went to Hibachi Buffet for dinner, then drove home and now we're watching Sleepless in Seattle because we've never seen it before (and, Seattle). A few pics:

Crafts and Aunts )
Ode to Spot )

I spent the autumnal equinox mostly doing unexciting things, though I got outside again to enjoy the weather, which was gorgeous, and met friends in the mall for bubble tea and raiding a bit after lunch. (I spent an hour in AC Moore and wound up not buying a single thing, which is either a major failure or a big success depending on whether decoration or saving money is the priority.) I don't care whether McCain opposed the health non-care bill out of principle or ego; I'm still glad.

Maddy had to work all day and into the evening while we had dinner with my parents, then came home to catch up on The Orville, which I thought was pretty great...okay, scientifically ridiculous and in some ways infuriating but I could say the same thing about the several Next Gen episodes of which it reminded me. Now it's the end of the UVA game. From the now-closed National Zoo Invertebrate House and the Smithsonian Insect Zoo (warning, spider):

Invertebrates )
And Now We Welcome the New Year )

Happy New Year! My day was not particularly religious -- I didn't go to services -- though it was a nice day, with a walk to appreciate the weather and a bunch of chores finished. Maddy arrived in the afternoon and we talked for an hour while she started getting organized (she hasn't even opened her big suitcase, so this will be a multi-day activity). She also got to see work friends.

Annmarie met us at my parents' house for Rosh Hashanah dinner along with other family friends, and I ate way too much around a dash to Starbucks with her and niece so I could take part in an EX Raid. Adam now has official details of his internship offer so I can say it's with Microsoft! I ran late when we got home so here are just a couple of photos of all four of our cats:

Cats and Couches )
Prospective Immigrants Please Note )

My Wednesday morning and afternoon were all chores and not worth reporting on in detail other than an hour at lunchtime walking in the park, where the chipmunks were very busy hoarding the acorns that were falling everywhere. Maddy is returning tomorrow!

We watched Inspector Morse, then we started watching the Orioles but that was too depressing to stick with so we watched some Bones instead. What a way to start the new year! Happy, healthy, peaceful 5778 to everyone who is observing Rosh Hashanah.

Shana Tova )
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