sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 29, 2010

bread & butter, take me out, and kindness (and #1)
posted by soe 11:46 pm

It’s been a killer week and there’s still one more day to go. I can’t wait for tomorrow at 5…

But before we get there, we must look back at three more beautiful things from the past week:

1. Mia’s homemade pickles totally complemented the rest of our sandwiches last night.

2. Our first Nationals game of the season, featuring a starting pitcher making his major league debut, is a win, followed by fireworks set to Bon Jovi songs.

3. A note tied to our railing told us our neighbors had a rosemary plant for us. The next day, a gorgeously pine green plant was waiting for us in our empty plant plate. (Once I figure out where the note has gone to, there are pictures to come…)

and a bonus fourth beautiful thing that’s probably only beautiful to me:

4. I awoke Monday morning to discover my team at the top of our fantasy baseball league. (I thought about not saying anything so as not to jinx my success, but as two more of my players went onto the DL this week, I don’t think it can hurt my chances…)

How about you? What’s beautiful in your world? Share it with us in the comments. You know you wanna…

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April 28, 2010

10 on wednesday
posted by soe 8:04 pm

I started this around noon, but then I lost track of a couple of the songs and, in trying to rewind the iPod’s shuffle managed to lose the list of songs that had been played. Oops. But I knew I could pull it up on iTunes when I got home, so you still get the list.

The rules: Set your iPod, music library, cd player on shuffle and share what comes up. No skipping because you’re embarrassed by what you listen to (are there such people?):

1. “This Diamond Ring” — Gary Lewis & the Playboys
2. “I Don’t Have a Wooden Heart” — Joe Dowell
3. “Brand New Key” — Melanie [The first three are all courtesy of Dad’s mix cds…]
4. “Jack and Diane” — John Mellencamp [A sing-along song any and every time in comes on]
5. “If She Wants Me” — Belle & Sebastian
6. “Come Home” — Kris Delmhorst
7. “Life Line” — Nancy & Ann Wilson with the Brian Wilson Band
8. “(You’re) Having My Baby” — The Cast of Glee [But really just Finn, I think…]
9. “Anna (El Negro Zumbon)” — Pink Martini
10. “Instant Karma!” — Paul Weller [I totally thought this was Warren Zevon]

Because I was doing this at work I was a bit distracted and missed what I thought was just one song in the middle there, but it actually ended up being two. This last song was what I believed to be my final song and it just seems unfair not to share it. You understand, I’m sure…

11. “The Lights of Vegas” — Ellis Paul

Want to play along? Put the meme on your blog or leave a comment with your tracks.

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April 27, 2010

3x52x5=an awful lot of beauty
posted by soe 11:25 pm

Due to yesterday’s blog blackout, I missed an important anniversary: my five year anniversary of chronicling Three Beautiful Things.

I didn’t realize five years ago, when I stumbled across Clare’s blog noting three instances of beauty in her daily life that this would become my most regular, and one of my most looked forward to, features. And yet, if you scroll through my archives, you’ll find a stunning 29 pages worth of beautiful things I thought worth noting over the years. And while it’s a random assortment of things I’ve recorded, there are some constants — wonderful friends and family, good food, a comfortable home, nature, adorable or amusing children and animals, meaningful music… And, really, aren’t those the things that make life worth living?

I have to admit that as I page through my TBT archives, I’m wearing a bit of a goofy smile on my face. What was beautiful five years ago or three, or even last month, is still beautiful and I’m so grateful to Clare that she inspired me to set these things down in writing. Because while I would have remembered some of them — John’s wedding, New Jersey Christmas lights — there so many other fleeting moments that would have passed right out of my memory but that are instead captured forever.

So, in honor of a significant milestone, I offer you a rare Tuesday Three Beautiful Things to mark what’s been noteworthy in the last few days:

1. We drive back from Columbia Sunday night through a massive thunderstorm filled with sheets of rain and lightning so bright that it illuminates the sky like midday. As we cross the state line into the District, 16th Street is miraculously dry.

2. After a day that started with waking up pre-dawn to nightmares and went downhill from there, Rudi rubs my clenched jaw until it relaxes, rubs my back until we both doze off, and then gets up to wash the dinner dishes so that I don’t have to.

3. Rudi and I lie down on the rug to play a board game. Posey, who considers the floor to be her domain, comes over to watch — and to help us play. She adds new dimensions to the game by trying to steal playing pieces and by suggesting our dice were meant to roll different numbers. When a big, fluffy paw reached out to swipe a second cow (we’d already given her a spare), we both burst into laughter. [N.B. Posey is not the first cat in our household to enjoy gaming; Della’s enjoyment of Scrabble was the reason we ultimately gave up on keeping score.]

Have you witnessed anything beautiful lately?

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April 26, 2010

just a quick note
posted by soe 12:31 am

My Monday is going to be one of epic stress, so there may not be a post later in the day.

But I wanted to say that while I had a lovely weekend I have no photos to show for it. I remembered to charge the batteries and take my camera north to Columbia but not once did I pull it out of my bag.

How frustrating!!!

Does that mean I need to write a thousand words about my Sunday afternoon instead?

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April 25, 2010

a saturday double feature
posted by soe 2:32 am

After sleeping away the morning and whiling away the afternoon with board games, knitting, and laundry, I started to get a little desperate, trying to come up with some evening plans.

Sure, we could stay in and watch a video, but we’ve done a lot of that this week, and it felt like we needed a break.

The movie listings offered no hope of salvation, short of How To Train Your Dragon, which I wasn’t sure I was in the mood for. And then I remembered that when Rudi and I went to the movies a few weeks back, we’d seen the listings for Filmfest D.C. But was it still going on?

Sure enough, we thought of it just in the nick of time, as the festival ends tomorrow. And we found not one, but two movies that interested us and that were playing at the same theater. A text message to the friends netted us Michael and Julia as movie companions.

The first film was Rudi’s choice: Made in Hungaria is the story of a teen boy in the early ’60s who, after spending a few years in the U.S. has returned with his parents to their native Hungary, where he finds the Communist mindset to be repressive. He attempts to rejoin the band of his youth to play Jerry Lee Lewis-inspired tunes, but is rebuffed first by the band’s current lead singer and then by a local Party official, who wants him instead to lead up a sanctioned musical group made up of the official’s son and an East German female group. Oh, and in the midst of all that, there’s that cute girl he promised to write to every week, but whom he didn’t send a single letter in the four years he was gone. Will Miki get to follow his passion and make music? Will the older generation be convinced by the youths’ swaying hips?

Take the male-oriented half of Grease and move it to Hungary. Add a dose of Carl Perkins and Buddy Holly and complicate it by noting that what would have been ordinary teen hijinks in the western world are considered agitation behind the iron curtain. The characters were, as Michael pointed out, rather one-dimensional, but overall I didn’t care. Add this to your NetFlicks queue now if you enjoyed American Dreams when it aired on tv a few years back.

The second feature was Looking for Eric, a British film about a middle-aged single dad whose life has fallen apart. He’s just wrecked his car going the wrong way around a rotary. His two teen step-sons refuse to mind him, playing hooky and getting into a lot of mischief (bordering on delinquency). He’s a mess at his job as a postal carrier and worrying his friends. He’s stealing one son’s pot and drinking too much with the lads down at the pub. And his daughter has just asked him to interact with his first wife on a daily basis. So Eric does what any of us would do when utterly overwhelmed by despair: he starts talking to a life-sized poster of his favorite soccer star.

But it’s when former Manchester United and soccer phenom Eric Cantona supposedly starts talking back that things get interesting. Played by the aging Frenchman himself, Cantona takes the tripping Eric in hand to give him back his life and to teach him what’s really important.

The second movie was the overwhelming favorite of our quartet and was still fodder for conversation during our midnight run to Tunnicliff’s for some late-night munchies. A great film that I’d recommend to anyone.

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April 24, 2010

weekend plans
posted by soe 1:32 am

Rudi and I started off the weekend well by catching a baseball game tonight that the Nats ended up winning! Plus there were fireworks!

Here’s what’s on tap for the rest of the weekend:

  • Laundry
  • Potentially a visit to the library
  • Potentially a visit to the garden
  • A trip to the farmers’ market
  • With some luck, a drive north to meet up with Jason, who’s flown back to Maryland to visit his folks
  • If the rain holds off or if we feel like getting wet and if it doesn’t conflict with Jason’s schedule, the Earth “Day” concert on Sunday down on the Mall with John
  • Uploading photos. I’ve taken lots, but haven’t posted them to the web to share them with you.
  • Getting caught up on the stupid book reviews. I have a bunch of drafts sitting half finished (or barely begun) in the back end of the blog and I’d feel so much better publishing them already.
  • Knitting. I think I could finish Rudi’s second sock if I just put my mind to it.
  • Reading. I’d like to finish my Frank Baum fairy tale soon.
  • Cleaning. The Burrow looks like a tornado hit it. Actually, a tornado hitting it might cause an improvement. Some quality time with a paper shredder, a bag destined for Goodwill, and a dust rag is probably in order.
  • Sleep. I’m still not feeling 100%, so a few extra zzz’s certainly couldn’t hurt before Monday’s Very Busy Day.

Just to prove I’m serious about my list, I’m going to go tackle that last item now.

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