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Poem for Thursday and Green Spring Blooming

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It was overcast and drizzly for much of Wednesday -- which my cats preferred greatly to the thunderstorms we're having at the moment -- but not too cold, so I still managed to take a walk in Cabin John Park (crocuses fully in flower but not open because of the lack of sun, snowdrops drooping, daffodils in full stalk but very few flowers yet). Plus I did three different Pokemon event raids (Armored Mewtwo, Clone Charizard, Party Hat Squirtle) with one local friend. Otherwise, my day involved writing and chores.

We watched The Masked Singer, on which yet another legendary black woman with an unmistakable voice was sent home outrageously early, which is really pissing me off. At least Lego Masters did not send the other all-women team home. Then we caught up with Miracle Workers, which is in some ways even crackier than last season, though also more overtly political; I can't decide whether it's more or less hopeful! Here are more signs from Green Spring Gardens last weekend that spring will get here eventually:

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Poem for Wednesday and Early Spring on the National Mall

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We had VVA coming to pick up donations on Tuesday, so we did a bunch of basement cleanup and gave away most of the kitchen and bedroom stuff our kids brought home from their college apartments, though the basement is still cluttered with things we need to sort and get rid of (old computer parts, kids' room furniture). I stayed in during the morning waiting for the truck, since we had assorted crates and trash cans full of dishes and stuff, not to be confused with our actual trash and recycling bins. Then I went to a raid, took a walk though it was drizzly, and did a bunch of equally unexciting chores.

We watched The Flash which I swear they only wrote because someone came up with the title "Grodd Friended Me" (and couldn't make as good as that title but at least no long gorilla arc), then Legends of Tomorrow, which also could not sustain the level of fun with Genghis Khan that one shout of "KHAAAAAAAN!" could accomplish. We also watched For Life, which in some ways gets real about things but in other ways seems ridiculously scripted and sanitized. Since we had gloomy skies all day, here are some of the spring flowers and birds that were already brightening DC last weekend:

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Poem for Tuesday and Artechouse Art

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I got up early on Monday to get fasting blood drawn for routine tests, and of course they made me wait half an hour past my appointment, so when I left I was hungry and cranky and promptly went home to eat an entire bagel with cream cheese. Then I did some work and went out to do an EX raid courtesy an invitation from a friend in my local Pokemon group, after which I went out for coffee (well, hot chocolate) with a different person from the group and made a couple of stops in the mall, mostly to try on a Vera Bradley sling bag in one pattern that I wanted to order for less than half price from the outlet in a different pattern if I liked the way it felt for carrying little camera stuff.

We had a TV catch-up night around The New Pope, which was awesome -- I love Malkovich but I have missed Jude Law, and I can't wait to see them have a faith-off! I also really liked this week's Doctor Who, thought they did a great job starting a two-parter and balancing a flashback story with a new character alongside the companions and villains. And we caught up on Zoe's Extraordinary Playlist, which remains pretty uneven -- maybe I'm biased from watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend at the same time, but it makes me want more creative use of music and more independent women. Here are more photos from Future Sketches at Artechouse of us exploring the code!

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Poem for Monday and Brookside Flowers

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My sister and her husband were in town to see my parents on Saturday evening, so on Sunday morning we went to my parents' house for brunch and hung out over bagels for a while. Then Paul and I went to Brookside Gardens, which already has some daffodils plus many snowdrops, crocuses, and other flowers that aren't usually so abundant at this point in February, though since it was nearly 60 degrees, it didn't seem all that odd despite the absence of turtles in the ponds with geese and herons. There are also lots of orchids and snapdragons in the conservatory.

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We stopped at Mom's Organic Market on the way home, where we got Beyond Burgers that we had for dinner. Then we watched Batwoman and Supergirl, the latter's 100th episode, whose ending I did not love even if Kara probably needed it, but I appreciate that the writers devoted the show's much-hyped anniversary to Supercorp, its great central love story -- no amount of tossing Mon-El or Winn at Kara could diminish her obsession with Lena. Afterward we watched the King's Speech episode of The Windsors, which of course I thought was awesome!
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Greetings from Flowering DC

I had a very lovely, long day downtown on Saturday, starting before 10 a.m. because we had tickets for the Future Sketches exhibition at Artechouse, which was amazing as are all their installations -- this one was Zach Lieberman's attempt to approach the question, "What does code feel like?" with graphic art, music, and multimedia. Pokemon Go Community Day started right as we were leaving the exhibit space, so I spent a couple of hours walking through the gardens around the National Mall catching Rhydons and discovering that daffodils, violets, hellebores, witch hazel, redbuds, and crocuses are blooming all over the place!

We had lunch in the cafeteria at the National Gallery of Art (a good place for quick veggie burgers and also for catching Pokemon), then went to see True to Nature: Open-Air Painting in Europe, 1780–1870, which was gorgeous and made me want to travel, and Raphael and His Circle, which thrilled me less but was still well done in a very small space. We stopped in the Smithsonian Castle on the way back to the car so I could get this year's cherry blossom festival pin and I chased a Trubbish that I couldn't catch to the Air & Space Museum. Then we stopped at home briefly to feed the cats before going back out to Giant for this week's groceries.

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Paul made peanut soup for dinner for Washington's birthday, which we ate with sharp cheddar and crackers followed by vegan chocolate ice cream. We caught up on the Graham Norton episode we missed Friday (Timberlake and Kendrick not that funny) before watching Judy, in which Renee Zellwegger is actually as good as everyone said, something I really doubted was possible, though it's such a sad biopic (L.B. Mayer almost a cartoon villain, Mickey Deans written as a predictable asshole, Sid Luft sadly sympathetic since we only hear about his bad marital behavior in the past tense, Judy's friendship with Rosalyn the only bright moments).
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Poem for Saturday and Green Spring Glasshouse

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After being out every day this week, I had to crack down and get things done on Friday, so it was not an exciting day. I did a bunch of chores, I went out in the chilly weather to do a raid with a bunch of PoGo friends, we had dinner with my parents who suggested that we watch Henry VII: The Winter King, which we did and really enjoyed (I'd forgotten what a piece of work he was in comparison to his more famous son).

Then we started watching Hunters, but Amazon Prime kept glitching -- the Roku works fine with Vudu, Disney+, Netflix, HBO, and everything else, but Amazon Prime is super-temperamental -- so we turned it off and switched to On Demand to watch Toy Story 4, which I'm sure we enjoyed a lot more than we'd have enjoyed Nazi assassins. From Green Spring Gardens last weekend, orchids and other flowers in the conservatory glasshouse:

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Poem for Friday and Cabin John Park

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My friend Mary from Ohio, whom I met online because of Star Trek many years before I met her in person, is in the area visiting her mom, so on Thursday we met at Cabin John Park to indulge in nostalgia for our childhoods and our kids' childhoods -- not too easy, since there's really only one structure left from 50 years ago and only a couple more from 25 years ago, but Porky the Litter Eater and the train are still there -- and took a walk down to the creek, since we both like cool weather. We even saw flowers! Then we went to lunch at Le Pain Quotidien, where I had an awesome gruyere omelet and we split dessert.

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The rest of my afternoon involved chores and some more photo sorting. I realized it was the anniversary of our 2002 trip to California, so I uploaded a bunch of those to Facebook, which of course put the dates all wrong so it took a long time just to straighten them out, around dinner and two episodes of Morse, one of which was more sexist than the next and I'm thinking this show has not dated well. Now I have the Cats parody episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on, so I'm laughing too hard to type (and yay new Greg, whom I like so much better than old Greg that I can finally stomach it if Rebecca ends up with him)!
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Poem for Thursday and Great Falls

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I saw my friend-since-elementary-school Linda on Wednesday -- we had lunch plans and decided that first we would go take a walk at Great Falls, which wound up being a nice long walk out to Olmsted Island, then along the canal where we saw vultures, ducks, geese, and a great blue heron. We had worked up an appetite and decided to get Beyond Sausage sandwiches at Dunkin' before heading home.

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My afternoon involved less exciting things like fighting with my computer, laundry, but Linda had shown me how she had colorized old family photos on MyHeritage.com, and after converting a couple of my grandparents' childhood pictures there, I went looking for other free online colorization programs and now I have a much better sense of what my great-grandparents looked like!

Because of this, I got no more of the scanning project done, but that will take all year anyway, so it's a small setback. We had couscous for dinner and watched The Masked Singer (very fun and they actually unmasked the right person for a change), then Lego Masters (still goofy but not hard on the brain), and then Stumptown (so the family mysteries deepen, at least the L.A. stuff was funny).
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Poem for Wednesday and Conowingo Dam

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Tuesday was pretty in the morning, then turned drizzly while I was on my way home from the park, so at least I got out early enough to enjoy it (and to get bagels before Goldberg's was out of pumpernickel). That was my only adventure outside. Inside, I set up my old flatbed scanner, intending to make inroads into the 30+ years of photos from my life before I had a digital camera, but the newer versions of Photoshop apparently don't like the old Epson scanner software, because I had to reset the resolution and format before every single scan. I still have not found a solution to this: Photoshop says it's in Organizer, but the menu Help says to use does not exist in my Organizer software!

I had to content myself with scanning only the beginning of our 1999 trip to Yellowstone before dinner. Afterward, we watched this week's The Flash, which lost my attention when Iris could figure things out in five minutes that a scientist couldn't do in six years while Ralph forgot he could be Silly Putty whenever convenient. Legends of Tomorrow at least had undead headless Marie Antoinette! And we watched the second episode of For Life, which continues to be more convincingly acted than written but is still interesting. From Conowingo Dam, here are some of the great blue herons, vultures, seagulls, and the very top of the head of the eagle in the nest on the electric tower:

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Poem for Tuesday and Green Spring Gardens

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We had gorgeous spring-like weather on Presidents' Day, so after lunch, Paul and I went to Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria. We were expecting to find only snowdrops and maybe some crocuses and hellebores outdoors, but there were apricot blossoms and even some daffodils as well as the park's famous collection of witch hazels. Plus there were orchids and birds of paradise in the glasshouse, and geese and robins around the lake, though the house and shop were closed for the holiday. I even brought a spring goddess for photos.

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It was a TV catch-up night, starting with Doctor Who, which was a fun Gothic reimagining but I really wanted Mary Shelley to be more proactive. Then we watched the new episode of The New Pope, which is super-problematic about women, though I hope that's the point since this is largely about how sociopathic the Vatican patriarchy is. And we caught up on the second episode of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, which has some nice moments but also buys most of the romantic musical comedy cliches Rebel Wilson skewers in Isn't It Romantic.