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Poem for Tuesday, Arrival, ArtsFest [Jan. 17th, 2017|12:26 am]
Sonnet XIX )

Adam had MLK Day off, so since it was chilly and overcast and Maddy had to work at the movie theater, we went to see Arrival. It's very well-made, with great acting, a plot that's less predictable than a big action sci-fi, and a solid central role for the female protagonist who gets to be the smartest person, but it's also depressing and fatalistic, and I can't decide whether I find the gender expectations as predetermined as the timeline (men: physicists and warriors, women: responsible for communication, performed better globally than in personal life).

We took Adam back to College Park after the movie, then came home to deal with things like laundry and trash collection delayed by the holiday. We had toad-in-the-hole for dinner at my request. Afterward we caught up on Madam Secretary (much better without the election storyline) and Elementary (pretty good in general this season), then since we were already on our butts we watched the new Timeless (the protagonists need to be more proactive, there's too much being jerked around by Flynn). From Annmarie Gardens' Artsfest last summer:


In the Garden )
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Poem for Monday, Sherlock, Victoria, Hanover [Jan. 16th, 2017|12:01 am]
Heaven Haven )

We spent most of Sunday in Hanover visiting Paul's parents. We picked up Domino's on the way and spent the afternoon eating, chatting, Skyping relatives, and listening to Clair and Adam play the violin -- though the stroke affected Clair's ability to read words, he can still read music. There was a gorgeous overcast sky but it wasn't terribly cold. We stopped on the way home at CVS and Giant, and since we'd left dinner in the slow cooker, we ate it in front of the TV when we arrived.


Hanover and Home )


Though we listened to much of the Green Bay game on the radio and saw Pittsburgh win, we spent most of the evening watching the Sherlock season finale, which had so many Batman elements that it felt like self-parody many times -- don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but the things that bothered me about the first season still bother me -- then Victoria, which felt like The Tudors set at Downton Abbey (fun, but not an improvement on The Young Victoria and not as visually engaging as The Crown).
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Poem for Sunday, Hidden Figures, April Canal [Jan. 15th, 2017|12:31 am]
The Kiss Precise )

We had sleet and snow forecast, so we all slept late, only to wake up and discover that it was merely raining and not even all that cold. We had eggs, veggie bacon, and pecan pancakes for brunch, did various chores, and eventually all took Maddy to work at the very crowded mall, where Paul, Adam, and I remained so we could meet my parents and go see Hidden Figures.

What a joy! It's fantastic -- wonderful acting, lots of humor, nods to the developing civil rights movement without it taking over the women's stories as individuals. Structurally it's a pretty straight-up historical drama, which tends to get overshadowed by Hollywoodesque stuff during awards season unless it's about European royalty, but it's really nicely done.

We were full from popcorn, so we came home afterward and had peanut butter sandwiches eventually for dinner. Having seen the end of the Falcons game, we turned off the middle of the Patriots game to watch Cowboys and Aliens, which we'd only seen once before; it's mediocre yet better than its reputation. From the C&O Canal last April, because I miss them:


Longing For Spring )
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Poem for Saturday, The Killing Game Part II, Apocalypse Now, National Zoo [Jan. 14th, 2017|12:32 am]
Survivor Guilt )

Alice came over Friday morning with boots for Maddy and we went out to lunch together at the mall so that Maddy could pick up the iPad she needs for school -- I had Cava, they had Wicked Waffle, then we went to the Apple Store, so we were all happy! When we came home I posted what will probably be my last-ever Voyager retro review, of "The Killing Game, Part II"; I thought about taking out the most critical paragraph to end on a happy note because I basically like the episode, but hey, complaining about the women's roles is as much my thing where this series is concerned as noting every scene pointing out what a crush Chakotay has on Janeway.

In the middle of the afternoon we drove to College Park to pick up Adam, who has Monday off since it's a state holiday so he figured he'd come home to see his grandparents and wait out the snow we're supposed to get (Christine is in the area too, though I'm not sure whether we'll see her). We had dinner with my parents while Maddy was at work. Then we came home and, in the course of discussing what to watch, discovered that Adam had never seen Apocalypse Now. I hadn't seen it in easily 30 years (and now I remember why -- I'd blocked out the water buffalo). Parts of it are very racist and other parts remain very relevant. From the National Zoo:


Endangered Mammals )
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Poem for Friday and Funeral Flowers [Jan. 13th, 2017|12:14 am]
Faith Poem )

2017 is apparently going to be a year of small compensations for huge upheavals, much like 2016. Today it was a morning email telling me that this week's Voyager retro review would be my last, due to major changes at TrekToday. I've written reviews for TrekToday since AnotherUniverse.com cut its staffers lose more than 15 years ago, so a significant portion of my life. This isn't a big deal compared to Paul's job being sent to India next month, but it's yet another shitty thing in months of pure crap.

Otherwise, my day was pretty good; I had lunch at Tara Thai with Karen and Angela while Maddy did some shopping, and by the time we got home, my new laptop had arrived, so I spent the rest of the afternoon configuring it (Photoshop on, bloatware off, and guess what, the version of Microsoft Word that came with Works 2002 can be made to work with Windows 10 as long as you have a valid user key). In the evening we watched some ninth season Bones. Chrysanthemums from Brookside in the fall:


Insert Mum Joke )
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Poem for Thursday and Zoo Washed Ashore [Jan. 12th, 2017|12:01 am]
I Could Let You Go )

I did a lot of running around on Tuesday -- took Maddy to a doctor's appointment, went food shopping, visited the park, dropped Maddy off at the mall -- but it was a lot warmer than earlier in the week and that made it much nicer to be outside! We're past the solstice, I am ready for the light to come back even if it stays chilly. Of course reading the news was total hilarity this morning; sure, we should be talking about Trump's financial improprieties and appalling cabinet picks rather than scurrilous rumors that aren't even true, but who can resist all the golden puns?

I don't have a lot else to report. I folded laundry while watching the Bones season eight finale, which stretched credulity, and later the season nine premiere which was even sillier. In between, we had dinner and watched Blindspot which was tense but interesting. Of course the evening shows are having great fun with Trump, which makes the fact that they are mentioning his name tolerable. Here are photos from last fall of the National Zoo's Washed Ashore exhibit, featuring animals created from garbage retrieved from the oceans, including an appalling number of plastic bottles:


Art to Save the Sea )
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Poem for Wednesday and Longwood Trees [Jan. 11th, 2017|12:38 am]
Ask Me About the Summer )

I spent most of the work day writing a review of Voyager's "The Killing Game, Part II" because I'm getting a new Dell laptop Thursday (yay!) and I'm expecting to lose many hours getting it configured the way I want it with Photoshop etc. Plus I had to deal with tsuris I can't go into, and I feel badly for Maddy who is getting tsuris about her college financial aid that no teenager should have to deal with.

I didn't get out much except to take a walk (the bunnies only appear after dark these days, and the Charmanders have abandoned my neighborhood). We caught up on Madam Secretary (enjoyable) and Elementary (women kept on leashes=not my thing) and watched the return of Agents of SHIELD (really not my thing, can we have Ghost Rider back?). From Longwood Gardens' holiday displays:


Another Holiday Flashback )
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Poem for Tuesday, La La Land, Lewis Ginter Lights [Jan. 10th, 2017|12:47 am]
Stars )

I just spent all evening researching laptops because my E key, which has to be pounded to type the letter, is shredding and stabbing my finger each time I type it. My day generally was great: Jules had an early apppointment and came over afterward, since we haven't seen each other literally in years. Meanwhile Cheryl made her way out of snowy Richmond and we all went out to lunch together at California Tortilla.

Jules went home early to miss traffic, we watched some episodes of The Crown, then Cheryl, Paul, and I went to see La La Land after having watched it clean up at the Golden Globes the night before. It was great -- better directed than written, but touching and nostalgic, a few catchy songs and for once I liked all the characters in a movie. Afteward we had dinner with Maddy at Cava. Here are some photos from Lewis Ginter's Gardenfest of Lights:


Holiday Flashback )
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Poem for Monday, Sherlock, Hillwood [Jan. 9th, 2017|12:04 am]
My Puppy Ate My Earbuds )

I had a pretty quiet, relaxing day with family, starting late because everyone slept in. When Adam eventually got up, we had brunch and watched the Steelers beat the Dolphins. Then we all went with Maddy to Target and Kohl's -- she needed school supplies for the Berklee classes that start this week, Adam needed jeans before going back to College Park. We watched some of the Giants-Packers game around shopping, had ravioli for dinner, and took Adam back to his apartment.

When we got back, after getting gas, we watched the first hour of the Golden Globes, switched it off for an hour and a half for Sherlock (which is wonderfully directed, has some lovely moments, and made me go WHAAAATTTT a few too many times which kept throwing me out of the story). Because I love musicals, I want to see La La Land, but the Oscar better go to Moonlight or I'm going to have to boycott all these shows next year. From Hillwood's holidays last year:


Hillwood Holidays )
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Poem for Sunday and Cat Sprawl [Jan. 8th, 2017|12:14 am]
Snow )

We woke up to snow! So we were not in a hurry to get moving in the morning. Christine was coming to the area and offered Adam a ride, but because of the snow and her parents' schedule, his expected noon departure got pushed to late afternoon until right before we had to take Maddy to work. We watched most of the FCS championship between JMU and the Youngstown State Penguins, and when Adam arrived we watched some of the Raiders-Texans game.

We ate pepper jack soup and fried stuff for dinner (fake chicken, macaroni-on-a-stick, tater tots), then we hung out and watched the Seattle-Detroit game. Niece just got home from work, which apparently was crazy because it's too cold out for people to do anything besides go to the movies! Since we've all been sharing the couches and having to smush in together, here is Katniss having no respect for Cinnamon's personal space (or anyone else's):


Couch Hog )
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