sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

May 20, 2009

d.c. plans
posted by soe 1:34 am

So… it occurs to me that I’ve lived in D.C. for more than six years now, and there still remain a number of places that I’ve been meaning to visit all this time, but, for one reason or another, have not. Earlier this year, I crossed the Library of Congress off my list, but far too many still remain.

I feel like if I publicly announce what those things are I stand a shot of actually doing them. And maybe some of you will want to do them with me.

Here, in no particular order, are ten D.C.-area places I’d like to see or things I’d like to do:

  1. Rent a canoe or kayak and paddle around on the C&O Canal.
  2. Hike around Teddy Roosevelt Island.
  3. Watch a classic movie at American City Diner.
  4. Visit Mount Vernon and Monticello.
  5. Head up to Bengie’s for a triple feature on the nation’s largest drive-in screen.
  6. Climb up to the top of the National Cathedral’s bell tower. (This one may have to wait until 2010, as it seems I’ve just missed this spring’s open tower event.)
  7. Catch a Bowie BaySox and a Potomac Nationals game.
  8. Investigate the Spy Museum, the Shakespeare Library, the National Aquarium, the National Archives, and the Natural History Museum. (Yes, I realize lumping them all in one may defeat the purpose of a numbered list.)
  9. Go swing dancing at Glen Echo.
  10. Tour Arlington National Cemetery.

Can you think of other things I should add to my list?

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May 18, 2009

monday music at midnight: bruuuuuuce!
posted by soe 11:48 pm

He doesn’t do so well with this number anymore, so I can understand why he doesn’t perform it regularly. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t miss it at tonight’s show:

This is from 2002, in Barcelona.

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May 16, 2009

see you back here tomorrow
posted by soe 8:19 am

I know, I know! There are posts to be written, photos and stories to be shared. (And, in that spirit, feel free to listen to this week’s episode of Wait… Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Susan bought tickets and invited Julia, Sarah, and me to accompany her to the recording. I’ll can’t begin to guess how they squinched it down to an hour, but I can guarantee you’ll laugh at their antics.)

In the meantime, today is Rudi’s birthday and for his special day I want to clean the house. It’s a small apartment, which is the problem really. Or perhaps that we have too much stuff. Or that I have inherited my grandfather’s strong New England roots that dictate that anything that stops working should not be thrown out but, should, instead be preserved for days ahead when you might be able to fix/reuse/creatively change said broken item into something that does work and is usable. And, yes, I am aware that attitude works much better in a house with an attic, basement, and/or garage than it does in a tiny urban apartment. So I’m about to get down to it.

So, I’ll see you tomorrow, when it will be okay to return to stories. I hope none of them include scary things I unearth in today’s archeological dig…

And, if you’ve time, please stop by Rudi‘s blog and wish him a happy birthday. He’ll need it if he returns home before I’m done wielding broom, trash bag, and dust rag.

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May 14, 2009

celebrations, road trip, and fool
posted by soe 10:11 pm

Howdy! It’s Thursday, I’ve had back-to-back evenings out with the girls, and it’s time to tell you about three beautiful things from the past week:

1. There are several times a year when I get to toast multiple people at a time. This eight-day period, though, tops the list. Sunday merited Mother’s Day phone calls to Mum, Gramma, and Jenny. And four times this week, I get to spend time thinking about dear friends — Eri on Sunday, Jenn yesterday, Kim today, and Rudi on Saturday. Thanks to them for having birthdays make this week an especially festive one.

2. There’s something about a perfectly blue skied Sunday that practically demands a road trip. Sarah agreed to play navigator and we headed north to Hyattsville in search of some yarn. The company was merry, the traffic light, and the tunes up-tempo, so I don’t think you could ask for a nicer way to spend an afternoon. Certainly, I couldn’t, except to note that the shopping also was a success.

3. Last night after getting home late from dinner and a movie, I decide to make dessert. I have whipping cream and rhubarb that needs using, so concocted a lovely pink fool. It was delicious, although next time I will use less orange juice when I poach the fruit.

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May 12, 2009

into the stacks: 2009.3
posted by soe 11:09 pm

Remember when I used to write about books on a fairly frequent basis? Remember when I wrote I was going to start writing entries about books individually in an effort to get me back in the habit of reviewing them? And then I stopped writing about them altogether?

Um, yeah. Here’s an effort at starting to catch up. I read this back in January…

The Heroines by Eileen Favorite

From the jacket: “Although a true lover of books, Anne-Marie Entwhistle prefers not to read to her spirited daughter, Penny, especially from the likes of Madame Bovary, Gone with the Wind, or The Scarlet Letter. These novels, devoted to the lives of the Heroines that make them so irresistible, have a way of hitting too close to home — well, to the Homestead actually, where Anne-Marie runs the quaint family-owned bed and breakfast…. Penny and her mother encounter great women from classic works of literature who make the Homestead their destination of choice just as the plots of their tumultuous, unforgettable stories begin to unravel. They appear at all hours of the day and in all manners of distress…. Knowing that to interfere with their stories would cause mayhem in literature, Anne-Marie does her best to make each Heroine feel at home, with a roof over her head and a shoulder to cry on. But when Penny begins to feel overshadowed by her mother’s indulgence of each and every Heroine, havoc ensues and the thirteen-year-old embarks on a her own memorable tale.”

My take: The concept of the story — a 1974 middle-America home set during the hear of the feminist movement where female protagonists from across the realms of literature stop for some rest and relaxation in the home of three women (the Entwhistle mother and daughter and their German-born housekeeper, Gretta) — is a strong one.

Add to that back story, though, the fractious coming of age of a teenage girl, and things start to unravel. Penny runs off into the woods to escape a mother who simultaneously pays too much and not enough attention to her. While there, she encounters a wild, unknown stranger who piques her interest. She knows he’s in search of one of the Heroines. No one quite knows how to reasonably explain that to the police her mother called in her fright — and a hospital visit and incarceration in a mental facility ensue.

Combining these overlapping tales felt awkward and didn’t work for me. While I understand the intent of the author, it felt like the book lost momentum after Anne-Marie allows Penny to be locked up. I’d give this one a pass.

Pages: 233

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May 8, 2009

my d.c.: tour the world without leaving the city
posted by soe 8:48 pm

Last Saturday my friend Susan and I met up to take a whirlwind trip around the world. We started off the map with some Greek food as we plotted our course. We considered Colombia, with its fresh native flora, but the line at the border was long and our time constrained. Indonesia promised us wealth and history, but they also had strict border control — and the droning we heard was definitely of an American tour guide rather than a native. So, with a shared appreciation for brewed leaves, Susan and I headed north, where our journey spanned three continents in a little over two hours. (more…)

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