littlereview: (jewitch)
([personal profile] littlereview Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:20 am)
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:

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Cats and Couches )
littlereview: (jewitch)
([personal profile] littlereview Sep. 21st, 2017 12:26 am)
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.

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Shana Tova )
On Children )

Tuesday mostly involved chores for me and half of them did not get done despite my best intentions. I have a bunch of chaos to deal with but on the scale of problems people I know are facing -- a couple in Florida STILL without power and several facing upheaval from the earthquake in Mexico and hurricane approaching Puerto Rico -- not worth detailing. In happy news, I got an invitation to the EX Raid on Thursday evening, but in unhappy news, it's right when Rosh Hashanah dinner should be ending so really lousy timing for American Jews.

We watched most of the Orioles game against the Red Sox, which was just as horrendous as it was the night before when the Orioles went into extra innings and proceeded to blow the game in humiliating style. That took up so much of the evening that we gave up on maybe starting any of the HBO shows that won Emmys and waited for Hillary Clinton on The Late Show (where Colbert annoyingly did not acknowledge why people were so upset about the Spicer stunt). Some photos of the art at Artsfest at Annmarie Gardens on Sunday:

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Artsfest )
Distances )

My Monday mostly involved chores, since Maddy is even now flying to the east coast and I thought I was going to have another few weeks to clean up some stuff in Daniel's room for her, but I did get a bunch of work done. And I did get out to Pokemon Go raids at both a Sprint store and a Starbucks because no one is sure which one is going to get the next EX Raid (the big Raikou ran away, but I think it's the win that counts for raid passes, not the catch).

We started watching the Orioles game and the Orioles were winning handily, but then terrible things started to happen (by now it's in extra innings and it's even worse) so instead we caught up on The Orville from Sunday night, which I must confess I really loved -- okay, there's still more bathroom humor than necessary but the scenes between Kitan and Finn are awesome and I appreciate Grayson's eye-rolling. Some pictures from Flag Ponds Park yesterday:

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Bayside )


Also, I haven't done one of these memes in ages! Ali tagged me to list my ten favorite characters from ten different fandoms. I hate tagging people and I don't even know exactly who's around these days, but please feel free to share yours! You already know this about me, anyway. )
littlereview: (little review)
([personal profile] littlereview Sep. 18th, 2017 12:25 am)
Paul and I spent Sunday in Calvert County with Cheryl, first at Annmarie Garden, then at the beach! The garden was having its annual Artsfest, with more than 150 painters, sculptors, beaders, knitters, and many other artists, as well as music throughout the garden -- in fact, my most significant purchase was a pair of CDs by The Honey Dewdrops, a husband-and-wife folk singer-songwriter duo who I'd never heard (or heard of) until their music wafted through the trees and I told the others I wanted to go sit and listen to them. Plus I bought a pair of inexpensive glass earrings.

After lunch and fresh lemonade at the picnic tables, and a lot of admiring crafts, we drove to Flag Ponds Park, where we walked through the woods to the beach and spent an hour and a half wading in the Chesapeake, looking for shark's teeth, and spotting herons and egrets hiding in the tall grass (there were plenty of fish but we only saw a couple of crabs). We left when the beach closed for the evening and drove home, stopping at Attman's Deli for dinner since it was just about the only thing still open nearby. Cheryl headed home and we watched the Emmy Awards -- yay, The Handmaid's Tale!

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Nautical Feeling )
George Washington )

On Saturday we picked up Annmarie and went to lunch at Layla's Lebanese Restaurant in Woodbridge, then drove to Mount Vernon for the Colonial Fair. We met Alice, Jeremy, and Avery there and looked at pottery, ate bread and cheese, visited the farm animals, thought about buying glass but they didn't take credit cards, got fans in the gift shop, learned how to weave linen, got sodas because it was warm, met George Washington, saw the area behind the mansion that slid down to the Potomac River during storms earlier in the summer, and hung out with the rat catcher and his rats:

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Festival Folk )


Avery and I won an Arcanine raid before he went home with his parents and we took Annmarie back to Woodbridge, stopping at Baskin Robbins for ice cream and drinks before going to her house. Then we drove home, went to Giant to get toilet paper and other necessities, and came home to the cats, with whom we watched some college football and Skyped Maddy who is coming back to Maryland next week. Now we're watching the rerun of the Tom Hanks pre-election Saturday Night Live and I can't figure out whether to laugh or to never stop screaming.
littlereview: (trek)
([personal profile] littlereview Sep. 16th, 2017 12:40 am)
Chess )

Three exciting things happened on Friday. The first was going out to breakfast with Alice at Bagel City and stopping in AC Moore, where we found Halloween decorations including glass pumpkins and Day of the Dead artwork. The second, which I found out after I got back, is that Adam was offered the internship for which he flew to Seattle to interview less than a week ago. The third was that I got to take my pass to the gym at the Sprint store in Montgomery Mall, where, along with over 50 people, many of whom I know from an online group, I got to participate in a Mewtwo raid, which my Mystic team won...and I caught Mewtwo!

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EX Raid )


The rest of my day was not as eventful, and I didn't even get the laundry folded, though I did fix a piece of jewelry that needed a charm reattached. I didn't get to hear Cassini's final flight till after the fact, though I guess due to the speed of transmission, neither did the scientists at JPL. We had dinner with my parents and saw the beginning of the Nationals game, but Things Did Not Go Well At All, and since the same could be said of the Orioles game and there was no college football on we really wanted to see, we gave up on sports for the evening and watched two Bones episodes instead. Happy Saturday!
Still to be Neat )

My Thursday was just as uneventful as my Wednesday. It was warmer, so I took a longer walk in the park where the leaves are starting to change, but otherwise it was chores and stuff, though I got to have dinner with Paul whose company event ended earlier than the day before.

We started watching the Orioles-Yankees game, which was going terribly, so instead we watched Thursday Night Football which was fine because I couldn't bring myself to root against Houston this month. From Boonesborough Days, the rehabilitated birds of Raptors Up Close:

17bnsb19
Raptor Rescue )
Toulouse )

My Wednesday was mostly uneventful, as I had boring chores and stuff in the morning, though I did get an EX raid pass for a Pokemon Go raid on Friday evening so that was very exciting! I went for a walk in the park and saw lots of animals there and near home -- squirrels, chipmunks, a bunny, a toad, a praying mantis. Paul had dinner at work because they were having a company event, so I had dinner alone, but then our neighbor Rose stopped by to visit me and the cats. When Paul got home, we watched Inspector Morse.

Then, since the Nationals were losing, I subjected both of us to Paris Can Wait, mostly because I wanted to see the road trip from Cannes through Provence and all the food Diane Lane gets to eat. It's a fairly harmless comedy about a very rich white American woman and an only slightly less rich Frenchman who toy with the idea of having a minor flirtation while enjoying spending money on their travels, and they go to Pont-du-Gard and churches. It made me nostalgic for southern France, so here is some Toulouse architecture from this spring:

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Occitan Capital )
topaz119: (milky way)
([personal profile] topaz119 Sep. 13th, 2017 09:15 pm)
So, in lieu of the Weds book meme, I get a little maudlin...

Circling back to DragonCon, some of our perennial favorites are the panels on the Space and Science tracks, which are like a second con within the con—a little cocoon of Really Cool Reality within the sprawling web of Really Cool Altered-Reality that surrounds it. This year’s Space track was especially neat in that the Cassini mission (to Saturn & its moons & rings) is about to end after nearly 20 years of amazing data and new finds. I think one or the other of us were at every Cassini panel this year and were comparing notes the whole weekend. (One of the really cool things was that half the panelists I saw/met were women, which is always such a boost to my (sometimes beaten down) girl-engineer morale.)

Anyway, Cassini is almost out of fuel, and has had its mission extended so far beyond its original parameters that it’s almost unbelievable. In order to avoid any potential contamination of the moons Enceladus and Titan with Earth microbes that might have survived (because they are potentially life-supporting environments), the spacecraft is deliberately being sent on an orbit that will trap it in Saturn’s gravity and burn it up on reentry. It’ll be transmitting on the way down, though, sampling the atmosphere and sending as much data as possible along the way.

This is all happening on Friday. I feel like I’m losing a friend who’s had the best vacation pictures ever. I can’t imagine how the NASA team feels.

eta: Here's all the 'post cards' in a free ebook from NASA: https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/resources/7777/?category=graphics
Love, Though for This You Riddle Me with Darts )

Another quickie, this time because I was online for far too long tonight chatting with a retailer who shall remain nameless who has for the third time this year lost a package without giving me any clue what happened to it between its posted shipment and when it was supposed to arrive at my house. My day was full of retail failure as I also bought a big plastic poster frame at Michael's only to get home, take off the wrapping, and discover that the plastic was completely warped, requiring me to go back and get a different one.

Otherwise my day was fine, and given the number of people I know in Florida who still don't have power, I really shouldn't complain. Adam is back from Seattle. I did a quick and successful Tyranitar raid at lunchtime, got my hair colored again because even though they promised it would last eight weeks last time, they lied, and had various chore and shopping disasters that prevented various other chores from being finished. Plus we shall not discuss the Nationals or Orioles games! Here are some calming pics from Boonesborough Days:

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Boonsboro Crafts )
topaz119: (love is love)
([personal profile] topaz119 Sep. 12th, 2017 01:51 pm)
We didn’t really get the horrible stuff, but we did get enough to poke something through the roof, sigh. D & #2 got something up in the attic under the leak, but of course we didn’t realize we even had one until I saw water on the bedroom ceiling. D says that’s all he’s seeing even this morning, but it’s enough that we’re going to have to do the whole contractor/insurance/MONEY thing, bleargh.

On the lighter side of life, D and I did make it to NYC this past weekend. I swear, I didn’t know if we were going to go or not right up until we left for the airport, and even then D’s Crohn’s was acting up and we were the absolute last people on the plane (I was standing at the plane door waiting for him and making sure the flight attendant’s knew not to give our seats away to standby.) But we made it, and managed to navigate the hell-hole that LGA is with the construction (Note to self: OMG, fly into JFK next time!) and got to our (seriously beautiful) hotel with enough time to chill for a bit and change for dinner (because yes, I did make reservations at a place with an actual dress code. D was not at all impressed, at least not until we got there and he saw the view, but he still kinda grumbled. He wore shorts the rest of the weekend to make up for the trauma. ::rolls eyes::)

Oh, and on the way to dinner, we nearly ran into Nicki Minaj and her Oscar DeLaRenta ball gown in the elevator. (Nas may or may not have been present, as the gown took up so much room that everyone else was squished to the sides & kind of in the background. She literally had her hands over her head to keep from crushing the appliques. We let that elevator go by, but we ended up following them out of the lobby anyway. She’s tiny in person and the dress was much lighter and colorful than what I've seen in pictures, though that might just be that everything I've seen is against a black background.)

So, yes, dinner was excellent – the River Café, underneath the Brooklyn Bridge on the Brooklyn side of the river. Gorgeous Manhattan views, very good food, excellent service. See also: pricey. But it was the only reservation I had for the weekend, and the hotel was free, so it all balanced out. (D’s eyebrows still reached for the ceiling, though. I hate to tell him what our last dinner at Peter Luger topped out at—he doesn’t think about things like that until it’s right in front of his face, and while RC wasn’t cheap, it was not outrageous for a 3-course dinner in B’lyn.)

The weather was fantastic, so we walked along the Hudson up to One World Trade Center and Tribeca on Saturday, and took the Staten Island ferry on Sunday for views of the Statue of Liberty. I also dragged him into the Morgan Library & Museum and to a fair amount of historical marker reading in lower Manhattan. I tempered that with the bar at the Marriott Marquis for Times-Square-watching during the Auburn/Clemson game and fish & chips for brunch on Sunday at the Dead Rabbit. All in all, it was pretty fun even if we did have to work around hurricanes and feeling not great. BTW, BabyBoy has informed me that Pace & Rutgers are on his college wishlist, so we may be back on a more regular basis.

Most schools in the area are canceled again today (about half the county is without power, but we were fine apart from a few flickers.) I worked from home yesterday (Monday) but am back in the office today. To quote from Jenny Crusie: Nothin' but good times ahead.
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