sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 16, 2019

notre dame
posted by soe 1:39 am

The Big Window

When Rudi and I traveled to France in November 2008, we visited Notre Dame on our first day in Paris. I was jetlagged and definitely dozed off in a pew while a tour guide was talking to us, but I was struck by the magnificence of the building and its grand history.

Notre Dame

Today’s fire is saddening, but when you consider how much was saved and that no loss of life — from the public, the clergy, or firefighters — occurred, it is difficult to consider it a complete tragedy.

The View

Horrible things occur, and this is horrible indeed. But not so horrible that it stands as the final period at the end of this particular story. This is not “the end.”

The Big Window

Faith and love are stronger than stone and glass and centuries’ old wood.

Joan of Arc

The children’s rhyme perseveres for a reason:

Here is the church. Here is the steeple. Open the door and see all the people.

I have faith that the people of Paris, of France, and of the world will come together to make certain this is true and that Notre Dame is rebuilt.

Placing Candles

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February 5, 2019

get away
posted by soe 1:26 am

It’s been a while since I last had a trip, and I’ve decided that it’s time to start planning one. But to where? Help a girl out!

I spent part of this weekend looking at airfares to warm places. What’s the best beach you’ve ever visited?

How about other destinations? What’s your favorite vacation ever? And where would you go for a week if you could reasonably afford it?

The nicest beach I’ve ever been to is probably Coronado Island in San Diego.

We’ve been lucky enough to take a lot of good trips and I’d gladly return to any of them. Iceland, in particular, was really quite magical.

The list of where I’d like to visit is long, but Hawaii is high on my list and has been since I was a kid. Costa Rica sounds beautiful. I’d love to see the Northern Lights, since we did not get to see them while we were in Iceland. And if I could go on a longer trip (because a week is too short to travel around the globe), New Zealand.

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November 22, 2018

miles to go…
posted by soe 4:12 am

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
   ~Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Fifty-five miles to be exact. And yet here we sit — nearly an hour now — at 4 a.m., a town over from where I grew up. Sadly, not to watch snow falling (although it is wintry cold), but because ten car lengths ahead of us on the highway is an accident. I’m hoping everyone involved is okay. And after they’re okay, I hope the police get us moving again soon.

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October 21, 2018

ceiling shot
posted by soe 2:38 am

I’d never noticed this before today:

National Ceiling

It’s the ceiling in the public section of the main terminal at National Airport.

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October 3, 2018

new york city
posted by soe 1:59 am

The weekend before last, Rudi and I I caught a bus up to New York City for the weekend. We arrived with just enough time to get down to our hotel, drop off our bags, and get back up to Broadway for a play.

The Lifespan of a Fact was in its second night of previews. Featuring only three actors — two-time Tony winner Cherry Jones, two-time Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale, and Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe — the show takes centers around, respectively, a magazine editor who assigns a star essayist’s piece on a Las Vegas suicide to a twenty-something intern for fact-checking. Armed with only the single sheet of notes that the writer has provided, the intern starts to discover the writer has “massaged” some of his facts in pursuit of a larger truth. It was well-acted and well-staged and if I did not love the ending, I did at least understand why it was what it was.

The Lifespan of a Fact

The show was put on at Studio 54, the famous nightclub turned Broadway theater, which was beautiful if slightly incongruous with its decor. The theater space itself is elegant, with ornate carvings on the walls and ceiling, but the stairwells and hallways have leopard-print carpeting. It boasted both a disco ball and a Tony in its entrance hall.

The next day, Rudi went off with some friends to celebrate the reason we’d all come to New York — Paul Simon’s final tour date. They had brunch and then went and got space right next to the stage, giving them a front row view of the show.

Saxon Merino Wool

I do not love crowds, so I took a more leisurely approach to the day, taking in a street festival (way more cell phone accessories for sale than at D.C.’s street fairs) and then heading to the Green Market at Union Square, where I procured some snacks and bought some yarn from a wool vendor, Catskill Merino Sheep Farm. This is Saxon Merino Wool (175 yards of what they call sport weight and that I’d probably say is closer to DK) in the Blue Boy colorway.

Paul Simon and Edie Brickell performing "Me and Julio"

After that, I headed out to Flushing, a neighborhood in Queens known for being the home of the Mets’ ballpark, the U.S. Open tennis facilities, and Corona Park, where both the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs were held. The show was good, but mostly the same as the other two we saw on the tour. He did bring a baseball glove and ball with him, since he grew up playing baseball nearby, and played catch with the audience. (On the third try, an audience member finally got the ball back to him.) His only special guest was singer Edie Brickell, his wife (wearing the red hat), who did the whistling for “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard.” He gave shout-outs to his high school and other landmarks. And he definitely got a little choked up toward the end of the show, as he realized he was ending an era.

On Sunday afternoon, my college roommate, Eri, came into the city, and we spent several hours hanging around the Financial District, where our hotel was. We checked out a merry-go-round on the riverfront and then ate some tasty bagels from a nearby shop for a late lunch, before Rudi and I had to catch our bus homeward.

Speaking of hotels, should you ever be looking for one in Manhattan, we definitely recommend the Wall Street Inn. The lobby was classic, the room spacious (even when not considered by NYC standards) and comfortable, and breakfast was included. While the front faces out on one of the city’s older winding streets, the back opens up onto a cobbled alleyway, which was filled with picnic tables from the local bars and restaurants, including a French bakery with award-winning croissants and delectable hot chocolates.

Rudi on Stone Street

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September 24, 2018

posted by soe 1:51 am


This is the Unisphere at Corona Park in New York City, erected in 1964 for the World’s Fair. This photo does not do it justice for just how big and impressive the statue is.

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