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broodings from the burrow

August 6, 2006

dog days of summer are for the cats
posted by soe 7:17 pm

Rudi and I decided to mosey out into the heat today for a local neighborhood’s Dog Days of Summer sale.

We explored a few shops along U Street we hadn’t been in before and stopped at Love CafĂ© for discounted cupcakes (Rudi opted for hazlenut frosting on a chocolate cupcake, while I went for the adventurous lime frosting on vanilla).

We turned down 14th Street to explore more parts of the sale. Rudi found a record shop hidden under some stairs. I visited a new vet that was just opening up and brought home some food samples and cat treats.

We next stopped at the local gardening shop, where we bought some saucers to go under a couple pots we had as well as a larger pot for our tomatoes to go into.

Finally, we ended up at a pet store (the kind that sells stuff for your pet as opposed to the kind that sells pets), where we picked up some new toys for the cats — soft balls for Della (who doesn’t appreciate them as much in the Burrow as she did in Connecticut where she liked to chase them down the stairs before bringing them back up to you to throw again), some nubby bouncy balls, and some plastic springs.

The toys were met with delight by the cats. But after Rudi left to go do some shopping and my back was turned at the computer, Della descended from the top of the dresser, went digging in my bag, and surfaced with the cat treats. Apparently she felt that I was holding out on the good stuff!

What could I do in the face of such undaunted ingenuity? I promptly parceled out the whole bag of treats amongst the three cats, who then tottered off to their own preferred spots to sleep off a delicious snack.

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four days, two movies
posted by soe 1:26 am

In the last four days we’ve seen two movies. Both of them were good, but in vastly different ways.

The movie we saw tonight was Wordplay, a documentary that looks at the hold that crossword puzzles (particularly those published by The New York Times) hold over Americans. The first half of the movie specifically examines the paper’s crossword puzzle — its editor (Wil Shortz, who majored in word puzzles in college), its constructors, its devotees — and it’s a fascinating glimpse into geek culture. (It’s worth noting that The Indigo Girls, Bill Clinton, and Jon Stewart are all fans.) The second half focuses on the annual crossword tournament held in Stamford, Conn., and a half dozen people who are competing for the number one slot. As with any competition, someone will go home happy and others will be devastated by their defeat. If you enjoy games or words, you’ll get a kick out of this film.

Earlier this week, we escaped the New York City heat by watching Little Miss Sunshine. The all-star cast features Greg Kinnear, Steve Carrell, Alan Arkin, and Toni Collette (as well as Paul Dano and Abigail Breslin) as a typical, dysfunctional modern family who finds out that the daughter (Breslin) has won the last-minute shot at beauty pageant two states away. Unable to afford the cost of plane tickets on such short notice, they pack the whole family into their VW van and head to Southern California. Along the way, there are the typical (and atypical) infighting and misadventures that accompany any family vacation. I won’t spoil what happens by going into any more detail, but let’s just say that the movie will likely end up high on my year-end list of favorite movies. As the final credits were rolling, I thought to myself that it’s odd, but that “quirky” seems to be the highest compliment I can pay to a movie or book these days. Maybe it’s because it seems that it’s that much harder to be quirky these days. Or maybe it’s because I am quirky. But when the credits were over and the lights came back up, Rudi turned to me and said, “What a great movie! I just loved how quirky they all were!” So I guess I’m not alone.

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