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The Little Review
Making No Compromises With the Public Taste
Friday, 22nd November 2019 12:55 am - Poem for Friday and Arboretum Bonsai
Play the GameCollapse )

Our car was at the dealer for a recall all day Thursday, so Paul worked from home and we got to have lunch together. Apart from getting a nice big package from Wal-mart with Pandemic: Legacy, the game I won during the Hobbs & Shaw Vudu Viewing Party, it was a pretty quiet work-and-chore day until late afternoon, when we went to get haircuts, swung through the park, and picked up the car.

After dinner (tofu parmesan with whole grain pasta), we spent the evening watching a few episodes of The Crown. I like all the actors who've taken over the roles from the previous seasons and there have been some awesome guest cast members, but I'm not loving the political conspiracy theories being given so much air time. From the National Arboretum, here are some specimens from the bonsai collection:

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Thursday, 21st November 2019 01:14 am - Poem for Thursday and National Zoo Reptiles
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I had a very nice Wednesday, mostly in Gaithersburg, where I went to meet longtime friends for lunch and did a bit of shopping before and after. My only successful purchase was tube socks for apaulled at Target, but I had a delightful three-hour meal with the moms from my former baby group (they knew each other from prenatal classes, yet invited me and older son to join them and their our older sons, one of whom is finishing law school and one of whom is a tech consultant. We went to Copper Canyon Grill and it was so much fun to catch up with them.

apaulled and I had to drop off the car at the dealership for an airbag recall, after which he went to Giant while I met up with a few people for a couple of Pokemon raids in the same shopping center. Then we watched The Masked Singer, which needs fewer stupid white people as judges considering who they sent home tonight and before the end of last season, followed by the funny, over-the-top, well-acted Princess Margaret episode of The Crown and the disturbing opposition research episode of Stumptown. From the National Zoo reptile house:

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Wednesday, 20th November 2019 12:52 am - Poem for Wednesday and National Arboretum Fall
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I needed stamps and a couple of things in Home Depot, so after some morning work, I headed toward the mall, where I discovered there was a Klink raid at the Sprint store so I decided to park there, then walk to the post office five minutes across the street. While I was at the post office, though, a traumatic thing happened: all the Pokemon gyms at Sprint stores disappeared! So I got back to the mall and thought my raid had broken the gym, then found out that that location, where I first participated in a Mewtwo EX raid, was gone forever. I know this is a ridiculous thing to be nostalgic about, but there it is!

We watched The Flash, which was a fun retro James Bond-themed story directed by Danielle Panabaker, then the first episode of the third season of The Crown, in which the Queen must deal with socialists and Russian spies and Philip, followed by this week's Emergence which in less than an hour went from a show I really hoped would stick around to a show I wish had been canceled one episode previously so I would remember it fondly, that's how horribly the smart-woman-just-wants-a-baby stereotypes have blown up (and so insulting to viewers). Here is how fall looked at the National Arboretum last weekend:

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Tuesday, 19th November 2019 01:13 am - Poem for Tuesday and National Zoo Cuties
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I went out to dinner with my friend Carrie so I am behind on everything this evening, but it was a fairly nice Monday -- chilly and a bit drizzly but we never got the actual forecast showers, I got some work done, I got the laundry done, and since we were meeting for dinner at Mod Pizza, I got to stop in Old Navy (the whole store was 40% off but so disorganized that I couldn't find anything I wanted in my size) and A.C. Moore ($3.99 mermaid bracelets).

When I got home, we watched this week's His Dark Materials, which I know I'm supposed to love but only kind of like, and Watchmen, which is dark and violent and also wryly funny and so well acted. I have leftover pizza for lunch tomorrow, so it's all a win! From the National Zoo on Saturday, fuzzy small mammals in the Small Mammal House and on the Asia Trail (Paul took some of these while I was catching Chimchar in the afternoon):

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Monday, 18th November 2019 01:16 am - Greetings from the National Arboretum
The weather on Sunday was very much like Saturday, a bit more overcast but not very cold, so we went down to the National Arboretum, which in addition to pretty fall trees has an exhibit in the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, Twisted Genius: The Eccentric Bonsai Artistry of Nick Lenz, which I believe closes this weekend. Lenz curated a collection of trees and ceramics with found objects, whimsical decorations, and some spooky additions. We also walked to the National Capitol Columns and drove to the state tree collection. Then, since we were on that side of the Beltway, we went to The Crystal Fox and looked at Tarot decks and jewelry.

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So I did not see any part of the Ravens excellent victory, though I did see the end of New England victory over the Eagles. I also saw this week's Batwoman, which was interesting and sad, and Supergirl, which has done extremely sloppy character stuff with Lena and has pissed me off all season. Then, since Madam Secretary was delayed because of football, we watched the second episode of The Mandalorian, which delights me for reasons that are spoilers but you can find out anywhere on the internet, followed by Madam Secretary, which better not be going where it seems to be or I'll be extremely irritated.
Sunday, 17th November 2019 12:54 am - Poem for Sunday and Giant Panda Party
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I only got about four hours sleep Friday night, because my cats apparently knew I had to get up early and decided to remind me that I would regret it if I neglected them in the morning, so this will be even less coherent than usual. We did wake up in time to get downtown by 8 a.m. before all the National Zoo's parking lots filled up for giant panda Bei Bei's last weekend there; the Chinese embassy was serving dumplings (which I did not eat, as they had shrimp and pork) and hot chocolate and donuts (which I did eat), and Bei Bei and his parents got treats with extra bamboo, biscuits, and other things pandas like. There were also crafts and things to say farewell. Lots of people had arrived by the time the panda cakes were served, so I eventually gave up my prime viewing spot for people with kids or bigger lenses (last two photos are his parents.)

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We spent several more hours at the zoo, visiting pretty much all the animals except the bird house which is closed for renovation, eating lunch, catching a whole bunch of Chimchar and raiding Galarian Weezing for Pokemon Community Day. We stopped at Giant on the way home and spent the rest of the day watching the 2/3 of the final season of The Man in the High Castle that we didn't watch the night before. It's too overwhelming for me to be articulate about right now; they got some things really right, like the black resistance on the west coast (the lack of an organized Jewish resistance is still pissing me off), some things really disturbing, like Smith's flashbacks, and some things just strange, like characters who disappeared without a trace or whose impact disappeared when the actors weren't available. So much to think about in that show!
Saturday, 16th November 2019 12:01 am - Greetings from Home
Quickie, we're going downtown very early in the hopes of getting to see Bei Bei before DC's youngest giant panda leaves for China next week. My Friday was fairly quiet anyway: some work, some chores, some cats demanding my attention, a trip out for Walgreens and a couple of Cobalion raids, a gorgeous sunset, dinner with my parents, and the first three episodes of the final season of The Man in the High Castle, which were great though I'm reserving judgment till I see the whole thing. From the county fair a few months ago, the decorated cake competition:

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Friday, 15th November 2019 01:17 am - Poem for Friday and Hamilton at Winterthur
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I had a bunch of things to do in the house that I thought weren't going to take very long and I'd get them done in the morning and go out, but a thing I was fixing in son's room had a piece of broken plastic that required improvisation a the thing I was drilling in the kitchen was in a position where I had to use my left hand while standing on a chair, and the things in my closet that I was shifting now that winter is trying to arrive had to be sorted so I could get rid of the ones I haven't worn in forever.

So I didn't actually get out of the house until Paul got home early following a dentist appointment. By then I had gotten into the mood to watch Avengers: Endgame -- I've only seen it straight through twice -- so I insisted on turning off the Steelers game to watch most of my favorite superheroes mostly do things of which I approve. Here are some photos from Winterthur's Hamilton and Burr: Who Wrote Their Stories?, about how their families and other Founding Fathers did just that.

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Thursday, 14th November 2019 12:26 am - Poem for Thursday and Boeing Museum of Flight
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I had a busy morning! First I went for my regular mammogram at a different place than I've gone the past several years, though it was actually the first practice where I ever had one (they've moved to a different building, which is easier to get to and has free parking). Then I stopped at Home Depot for screws for cabinet door pulls, and while the screws were a bit complicated -- apparently the right width screws with wide heads come standard in 1 1/4" rather than 1" length -- I discovered that I could buy drill bits that fit our electric screwdriver, and since I had a $5 gift card from Verizon Up, they ended up costing almost nothing. After that, I stopped to get bagels and was going to eat one for lunch, but while walking out I realized I was next door to Dunkin' and had not yet tried their Beyond Sausage croissant sandwiches, which has now been remedied (they're quite good and my cats were quite eager to take mine from me).

My afternoon was not as exciting: getting gas on the way home, folding laundry, installing aforementioned cabinet door pulls until the electric screwdriver stopped working because I forgot to charge it, trying to steal my napkins back from Effie, doing a quick raid at the Bolger Center, organizing some photos, and even doing a little computer work. Eventually we had leftover Chinese food from Sunday for dinner, then we watched the rest of this season's Jack Ryan -- which is well-acted and interesting but also a fictionalized case study in why so many people in Latin America distrust the U.S. government no matter how much it proclaims it's just there to protect their democracy, and I mean the purported good guys on the show -- around The Masked Singer, still my favorite hour of total ridiculousness each week. I was in the mood for photos from the Museum of Flight in Seattle from earlier in the fall:

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Wednesday, 13th November 2019 01:01 am - Poem for Wednesday and Longwood Blooms and Bamboo
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My morning and a big chunk of my afternoon were taken up by an unexpected writing project. By the time I got out of the house, there were flurries in the air, so I only took a short walk in the park, then came home where it was warm and worked on a different project, this one involving kitchen cabinets. By then Disney+ had recovered from its early glitching!

After dinner we watched the first episode of The Mandalorian, which was a little too space-western for me until the end and then I loved it. Afterward we watched the sneaker study of The World According to Jeff Goldblum, which was hilarious, followed by another violent episode of Jack Ryan. Some more photos from Longwood Gardens' Blooms & Bamboo exhibit:

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