sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 5, 2018

first february weekending
posted by soe 1:31 am

It was a weird weekend. Friday night Rudi had to work, so I told him that morning that I’d make lasagna for supper. I did, in between watching Agents of SHIELD (I did not love the reveal in this week’s show, although it wasn’t anything I hadn’t been expecting).

I slept in both Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday I’d meant to get up a little earlier to take advantage of the morning sunshine and to get up to one of the other farmers markets where my favorite King Cake baker was going to be, but alas! I did get going early enough to take the soiled duvet to the dry cleaners and to stop by the bagel place (where in a true Saturday miracle there was not a single person in line when I was passing) and Starbucks for a cup of tea to take with me to the library. I had seen an advertisement for a free play reading, so thought I’d spend the afternoon watching live theater.

If you’ve never seen a staged reading (and I hadn’t until a couple years ago), it’s different from a play performance in that the cast is essentially just reading from the script at microphones at the front of the room and someone (in this case, the playwright) reads the stage directions so you can imagine the action. The play, You Should Run for Congress, by John Krizel, was a sweet story about a former Hillary Clinton field organizer in Wisconsin who, once back in D.C., convinces one of her best friends that he should move out to Fairfax, Virginia, where he teaches high school social studies, and run for the House of Representatives from that district.

It was a very D.C. play, where many of us spend a lot of time poking fun at the nearby ‘burbs and where many of us know people who’ve helped work, if not run, political campaigns around the country. I did not agree with the final takeaway of the play, which is that you need to have grown up in a place in order to know it well enough to represent it, but I definitely agree that you shouldn’t move someplace specifically to run for office. (In D.C., that should be interpreted as you shouldn’t drop out the Democratic Party in order to run for Council as an “Independent.”) But, the play was funny, had a lot of good lines (which I might have Tweeted out if I hadn’t been knitting while watching) and solid actors, and had the solid endorsement of being a very fast way to pass two hours on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

During the week, a coworker and I were discussing hot chocolate and she asked if I’d tried a shop near our office, which had opened back in the fall. I had not, so after the play ended and I’d checked out my books, I headed downtown and bought myself a cup.

Milk Chocolate Cocoa from Cafe Chocolat

That’s the milk chocolate version, which is accented with cardamom, I think, and homemade whipped cream. It was really good, some of the best I’ve had in D.C. I’m not sure they’ll beat out Baked & Wired, simply because of the difference in the cost/size value, but if you’re going simply on taste, Café Chocolat may, in fact, have the edge. Plus, you can buy other chocolates while you’re there.

Chocolates from Café Chocolat

Today, on the other hand, was filled with sloth. It was raining when my alarm went off, so I simply rolled over and went back to sleep. I did eventually get up, around noon, and head out to the farmers market. I bought a few things and then returned home through the chilly drizzle, put on lounge clothes and curled up under a blanket on the sofa where I’ve done things as varied as listen to an audiobook, play games on my phone, call my folks, take a nap, and eat supper. I did wash laundry and dishes are still on my to-do list, so I have taken care of a few of the things I should have.

I hope you had a nice weekend, regardless of whether it was more like Saturday or Sunday.

Category: arts,dc life,politics. There is/are 4 Comments.

January 31, 2018

‘bread and roses’
posted by soe 1:27 am

I did not watch the State of the Union speech tonight. I could imagine what was going to be said, imagine how little it would matter, and imagine the sort of person who would find it inspiring. I am not that person and I suspect you are not either.

So, instead I’ll offer you this clip from the 2014 film Pride, about queer London youth and Welsh miners coming together to offer each other support in the 1980s. Because maybe that’s the sort of union I’d like to hear more about, and I suspect I’m not alone.

Category: arts,politics. There is/are 0 Comments.

January 23, 2018

‘a story like mine’
posted by soe 1:44 am

I’d never heard of Halsey before my dad emailed this morning and suggested that I should check out this video from Saturday’s Women’s March in New York City. “A Story like Mine” is a really powerful poem that I thought worth sharing here, but I also offer a trigger warning for sexual assault for those who need it.

Category: politics. There is/are 1 Comment.

January 21, 2018

women’s march 2018: d.c.
posted by soe 1:54 am

Rally at the Lincoln Memorial

We Are All Wonderwomen


Category: dc life,politics. There is/are 1 Comment.

November 7, 2017

a plea from the disenfranchised
posted by soe 3:03 am

Election Day has arrived. Many of you have the opportunity to head the the polls to vote for local officials. After the dumpster fire we’ve had politically the past 365-plus days, it might be tempting to stay home, since what does it matter anyhow? They’re going to do what they’re going to do and there’s nothing that can be done, some might think. Please don’t do that. Please get out and vote, no matter how inconvenient or insignificant it may seem.

It’s easy to see how voting for members of Congress or governor is important, but what about for state representatives or town selectmen or local sheriffs or comptrollers? Do they really matter? Can’t we just skip voting in those elections?

In a time when the federal government isn’t doing its job properly, those people become even more important. They’re providing checks and balances to our national leaders. They’re setting the tone for what’s important to local communities, be it standing up to ICE raids on local immigrants, suing for environmental protections, legislating gun restrictions, or putting money aside for local arts programs or after school programs. The federal government is no longer looking out for everyday citizens, so state and local governments have to step up and do it. So the people in those offices are crucial to protecting not only your community but the rest of the communities around the country.

Discouragement and hopelessness can spread like a fire. People in it for themselves, as they seem to be at the national level, can make it seem like your one voice is screaming into a hurricane. And that’s what they want you to think. They want you to stay home. They want you to feel like there’s nothing you can do to stand up to them and their power. As Luna Lovegood says to Harry Potter, “If I were You-Know-Who, I’d want you to feel cut off from everyone else; because if it’s just you alone, you’re not as much of a threat.” You and your fellow voters aren’t alone. You and your local elected officials can be a threat to the powers-that-be. Because hope and optimism and kindness spread, too, if just a little more quietly.

So please go to the polls. Support the people who’ll protect the most vulnerable amongst us. If there’s only one person running for an office and they’re a jerk, write someone else in. There is nearly always that option, even if it’s not immediately apparent.

Vote today. Speak truth to power with your ballot. Stand up and be counted because there are always those who can’t who are relying on you to speak on their behalf. Be the change you want to see and the citizen you want others to be.

Category: politics. There is/are 7 Comments.

February 4, 2017

show us what america looks like
posted by soe 3:10 am

This is what America looks like:

No Muslim Ban March

I’d suggest clicking through to see that in a slightly bigger version.

These were all taken at the protest at the White House — which turned into an impromptu march to the Capitol — as a result of the anti-Muslim/anti-Middle East ban enacted last week.

If you are feeling alone in your anger/sadness/grief/rage, know you are not. We are all there with you.

No Muslim Ban March

This protest came together in less than a day. I don’t think anyone, including the organizers, expected this many people to show up. (I do think the surprisingly strong response was due, in part, to liberals in D.C. receiving a week’s worth of emails demanding we call the Congressional representatives that we lack to express opposition to Cabinet nominees and executive orders. We might not have anyone to call (or protect us), but, damn it, we can show up in person…)

No Muslim Ban March

People of all size, shape, age, color, creed, and ethnicity came. A friend brought his children, making it the first protest rally for all of them.

No Muslim Ban March

No Muslim Ban March

The cheer at this point was, “This is only your ninth day. We’re not going to go away.”

No Muslim Ban March

This is the Old Post Office Building, which is now owned by the same family occupying the White House. Locals do not use the new name.

No Muslim Ban March

I wish I could give you a sense of how many people were there. Let’s just say that it’s 16 blocks from the White House to the Capitol. When we reached Pennsylvania Avenue (2 blocks in), we could see crowds seven blocks away, which I guessed at the time were associated with the Chinese New Year Parade. They weren’t. When we reached the Capitol, there were still people streaming all the way back. The best I can offer you is a link to one of the photos of the people taking pictures from the balcony at the Newseum.

No Muslim Ban March

No Muslim Ban March

As my friends and I headed off to find a late lunch, the crowd was chanting, “See you next week!”

(This week, though, instead of hitting up the White House & Capitol Hill, I’ll be taking part in the candlelight vigil tomorrow evening between D.C.’s mosque/Islamic Center and the Vice President’s mansion a few blocks away in my own neck of the woods.)

Category: dc life,politics. There is/are 2 Comments.