sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 8, 2019

harvest, red cups, and new clothes
posted by soe 1:01 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. Rudi went to the garden for me today to harvest before the temperature drops tomorrow. I’m hopeful my peppers might survive, but I knew the bush of the basil I’d left behind last weekend would not.

2. Despite not getting up at the crack of dawn, Rudi and I both managed to track down free reusable holiday cups at a national purveyor of hot beverages’ one-day promo event.

3. After several unsuccessful shopping trips attempting to boost my cooler weather professional wardrobe, I found several items at TJ Maxx that I think will now allow me to get through an entire week without stressing about outfits.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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November 7, 2019

october unraveling, just 11 months early
posted by soe 1:44 am


We could look at this photo as a complete failure, having failed to complete sock or book, by the end of October.


We could look at it as getting a really nice jump start on the 2020 Halloween season. I know which perspective I’m going with.

Head over to As Kat Knits for what other folks are knitting and reading this week.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 2 Comments.

November 6, 2019

midweek music pick-me-up: ‘my life would suck without you’
posted by soe 1:48 am

I had a day this morning at work. I decided midday that getting out of the office and going outside was key to turning things around. I took my sandwich to a nearby park and tried to read away my frustration, but it wasn’t working. Then some guy sat down nearby and started watching videos on his phone. Fair enough, but it was definitely not going to help me shake off the morning’s frustrations.

But, I thought, some music might help.

My go-to Google Play channel came through with this early Kelly Clarkson hit, which, played at full-blast on my headphones, started the reboot:

Adele was also a good choice from the streaming service, but then I opted to switch to YouTube to pull up two songs from my personal dance party playlist (since I didn’t have my iPod with me): “Accidentally in Love” and “The World Ain’t Slowing Down.”

And that was what it took. Upbeat music at warning-level volume and — ultimately — dancing my way back to the office in the autumn sunshine.

What do you do to turn around a (work)day?

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November 5, 2019

coffeeneuring 2019 #4: fresh baguette
posted by soe 1:35 am

Ride #4: Sunday, Nov. 3, evening
Fresh Baguette (1737 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.)

Fresh Baguette

After spending some time at the garden Sunday afternoon, I biked over to upper Georgetown to take care of some errands, with the hopes that Fresh Baguette might be a destination for coffeeneuring.

Fresh Baguette's Wares

It was and they had a full selection of tasty things to try, including their namesake item — freshly baked baguettes, which are produced every two hours. While I did buy and tear into a baguette before I left, I also opted for a hot cocoa and pumpkin croissant. Look how pretty that croissant is.

Coffeeneuring Stop #4

As this was the first day of the return to Standard Time, sunset came awfully early, so I opted to eat at one of their handful of tables, rather than taking my snack outside. As Fresh Baguette doesn’t have any outdoor seating, I would have had to walk over to the nearby rec center, so it seemed reasonable to stay.

Everything I had was delicious.

Because this is in Georgetown, bike parking is horrible. There are definitely no racks outside and even skinny street signs are decidedly lacking in the immediate vicinity. There is bike parking at Safeway up a block, and also probably at the rec center, and back down a block at the library. And there’s a Cabi rack another block past Safeway, so that’s not an unreasonable walk for those of us who use that option.

I consumed my tasty treat, walked over to do my grocery shopping, and then took bike share home, arriving back in Dupont by 6, but still totally in the dark.

Total mileage: 2.48 miles.

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November 4, 2019

coffeeneuring 2019 #3: northside social coffee & wine
posted by soe 1:57 am

Ride #3: Saturday, Nov. 2, afternoon
Northside Social Coffee & Wine (3211 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA)

Saturday after the parade concluded, I hopped on metro out to Arlington’s Virginia Square stop to pick up a book for my new book club (my friend has DCPL’s copy out). Seeing as how it was lovely out, I decided to check out what my local options were for coffeeneuring. I noticed that Northside Social Coffee & Wine was down the road back toward D.C. and decided to head there.

Northside Coffee

What a pleasant place!

While the second floor is a wine bar, the first floor is dedicated to a bustling coffeehouse, with two rooms of tables. There is also a patio, which is covered by a heated tent outdoors in the cooler months.

I opted for a masala chai and what they called an apple pop tart, but which was made with puff pastry, rather than shortbread. Both were delicious. Because it was sunny and warm, I found the single table outside of the tent that was located in the sun and sat there listening to a guitarist they’d brought in for their Day of the Dead celebration, knitting, and reading.

Coffeeneur Stop  #3

There is a bikeshare station right outside, and many racks, so they clearly welcome cyclists.

I biked home through Clarendon, Court House, Rosslyn, and Georgetown, and up the Rock Creek Parkway multi-use path, arriving home just before sunset.

I’m so glad I stopped, and I’ll consider returning anytime I’m at the Central Library.

Total mileage: 4.66 miles

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November 3, 2019

let’s have a parade
posted by soe 1:25 am

The Nationals and D.C. held a parade and rally today honoring the 2019 World Series champions, and I braved the crowd for the parade part. (Honestly, I sort of envisioned the rally as a bacchanalian party, which was not what it turned out to be, but I enjoyed my afternoon anyway, so it’s best not to have regrets.)

I cannot tell you what was happening in the parade in between the buses, because I was far enough back that sometimes I could see the plumes on band members hats, but that was pretty much it. I saw Teddy (Roosevelt, the racing president) on some sort of micromobility device (a scooter, maybe?), and I could see the Budweiser dalmatian, but not so much the Clydesdales. And my cell phone camera was really not up to the task of getting photos that were both zoomed and detailed.

But I was there, and that was what was important.

This is relief pitcher Sean Doolittle, whose name you should know if for no other reason than that he visited indie bookstores on every road trip during the season this year. And he succinctly defended our closer, Daniel Hudson, when he decided to miss the first game of the NLDS for the birth of his third child — a decision questioned by a lot of dude bros, including a lot of media and at least one (non-Nationals) sports team owner. (“If your reaction to someone having a baby is anything other than, ‘Congratulations, I hope everybody’s healthy,’ you’re an asshole.”) He also was the first National to declare he wasn’t going to the White House (and gave measured reasons for his decision — the highlight of which was “I don’t want to hang out with someone who talks like that.”). A huge Star Wars geek, Doolittle famously celebrated the NLDS victory by wandering back out onto the field with his light saber and asking camera crews, “What are you talking about?”

Sean Doolittle

And here are first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, “Mr. National” himself, and manager Davey Martinez (on the far side) holding up the World Series Commissioner’s Trophy for everyone to see. Zimm was the first player the Nats signed as a rookie after moving to D.C., has long been acknowledged as the District’s favorite player when a walk-off homer is needed (he hit the game winner when the Nats moved from RFK to Nationals Park in 2008), and will surprise no one if he announces that he’s going to retire after this season. You may have heard each Nats player had a home run dance. 35-year-old Ryan’s mimics using a walker. (Incidentally, did you know that there is now only one player born in the 1970s in MLB — Nationals relief pitcher Fernando Rodney? Don’t you feel old knowing that?)

World Series Trophy

Should you ever get a chance to watch one of your favorite teams be feted with a ticker tape parade (or the modern equivalent thereof), I recommend it, even if you are crowd-averse. You’ll be glad you were there.

Fight Finished

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