sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

July 20, 2018

stalks, golden anniversary, and storm
posted by soe 1:02 am

Fort Reno Sunset

1. After leaving the beach on Sunday, we pass an honor system roadside stand, which included a cut-your-own garden. I brought home three stems of gladioli. Having now seen them in their natural state, I understand why they’re sometimes called the sword lily.

2. Tonight was a Fort Reno concert night and the official celebration of its 50th anniversary. The free punk concert series was its typical eclectic self by featuring a lineup that included a reading of a Sylvia Plath poem set to modern dance by two members of a local theater troupe, a dj set, and a nine-minute snare drum composition. It was also the Night of a Thousand Cakes, and so much was still left that the organizer apologized to families prior to the final act by asking them to please send their children up to eat more sugar. After years of attending at least one show during the season, I am convinced that whatever celestial being is in charge of the weather is a punk fan because there is always a gorgeous sunset to be seen on concert nights.

3. Tuesday there was a terrific mid-afternoon thunderstorm during which time more than two inches of rain fell over less than an hour. I didn’t have to be out in it, so was content to admire its force from a window. (Rudi was not so lucky.)

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

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 1 Comment.

July 19, 2018

mid-july unraveling
posted by soe 1:09 am

Mid-July Unraveling

My Tour de France knitting continues apace. There has finally been some color shifting to salmon and a different hue of purple, which is exciting, and the shawl is now longer than my arm, which gives me hope it might someday be long enough to wear. I will need to pick up my pace, since we’re halfway through the Tour and I am not halfway through the knitting. I do have many hours of plane flight coming up next week, though, so it’s a possibility I’ll get caught up.

I’m reading and loving Julie Murphy’s Puddin’, the follow-up to her bestselling book (and soon-to-be feature film), Dumplin’, about two Texas girls who become friends. When I finish it, I’ll be heading back to Moxie, about a Texas girl who rallies other Texas girls to become feminists through her anonymous, Riot Grrrl-inspired zine. As I said to my book group today, apparently I’m all in for kick-ass Texas teen girl novels this summer.

I’ve been listening to a variety of things, but what’s stuck most is Murder Games, the book by James Patterson and Howard Roughan that inspired the tv show Instinct. I always find it interesting in tv shows/films that evolve from books what gratuitous things they choose to change. Here, for instance, one main character’s tv husband has a different name (Andy instead of Tracy) and aspiring career (bar owner instead of actor) and the other main character goes by the nickname (Lizzie) that she hates. The chapters are ridiculously short (which is probably partially what makes Patterson such a page-turner) and I remember from the tv pilot who the bad guy is going to be, even if that character has not yet been introduced in the book. (I suppose it’s a possibility that they changed that, too.) I am also listening to Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings, an #ownvoices memoir which was one of the free Audiobook Sync titles from this year. It’s fine so far, but nothing especially amazing.

You can visit As Kat Knits for additional book and knitting pairings.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 3 Comments.

July 18, 2018

into the stacks 2018: march
posted by soe 1:40 am

I read six books back in March:

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle

Twelve year-old Meg Murry, awkward, self-doubting, and truculent, lives with her beautiful scientist mother, her unremarkable twin brothers, and her brilliant little brother Charles Wallace, who many people make unkind assumptions about. She does not live with her scientist father, because he has disappeared off the face of the earth. Quite literally, but Meg doesn’t yet know that. It takes the intervention of three otherworldly guides, Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit, to elucidate the situation and then tesser Meg, Charles Wallace, and Meg’s schoolmate Calvin off into space for an impromptu rescue mission. But when Charles Wallace goes up against the Borg-like It and loses, it’s up to his big sister to figure out how to bring him home. (more…)

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July 17, 2018

drama queen
posted by soe 1:20 am

While I was in the garden on Saturday, I got stung by something. I’m not sure what it was; I smacked it before I totally realized what was happening. I’m pretty sure it was a wasp or a hornet, though.

I was lucky in that I did not have an anaphylactic reaction. My leg swelled up a bit, but not in any way that seemed disproportionate to the situation. It stung, but didn’t even itch particularly.

However, while most people’s swelling would go down after a day or two, mine continued to get worse. Apparently that’s called a large local reaction. Essentially, my body really doesn’t like being stung or bitten by insects and overreacts to the entire thing. A large local reaction is like your body being a drama queen. I was never in any danger from the situation, but my body doesn’t want anyone to realize that. “I was STUNG, people! STUNG!” Every time my body thinks about it, the story gets bigger and more elaborate. So every time I unconsciously rubbed at or scratched my leg, my body added another layer of hysteria to the reaction.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had a large local reaction. It happens sometimes with mosquito bites, too, and I assume it’s the reason my doctor thought I was allergic to bee stings as a kid.

I’ve taken some Benadryl (which was its own ridiculous story) and have just recognized that my leg will be swollen for another few days and that I’ll simply have to live with the unattractive appearance and itchy feeling.

But, nope, I’m not allergic. Just a drama queen.

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are 1 Comment.

July 16, 2018

national ice cream weekend and the beach
posted by soe 1:42 am

Today was National Ice Cream Day, but July is National Ice Cream Month, which means that this was National Ice Cream Weekend, even if only so decreed by Rudi and me.

D.C. Scoop

Friday evening we started out with the D.C. Scoop festival at Union Market, where local ice cream shops sent representatives with free samples for folks to try.

We downed the Trickling Spring (a local dairy) samples too quickly to get photos, but their flavors were a very mild chocolate and a chocolate covered strawberry. Dolcezza, a gelateria around the corner from my apartment, offered peach gelato and lemon opal basil sorbet:


Love ‘n’ Faith Cafe was making liquid nitrogen ice cream on the spot:

Making Ice Cream

They ran out of their free samples, but were selling cups for a reasonable price. Rudi really liked their salted caramel and I was highly impressed by their cookies and cream. (D.C. folks: Their ice cream was delicious, but apparently they are inches away from having to close their cafe, which is located between U Street and Columbia Heights on 14th St. If you’re hankering for coffee or ice cream and are in the vicinity, it’s worth stopping in.)

Ice Cream

Saturday was Bastille Day, so after spending the morning working, I stopped by a French restaurant that was celebrating the holiday for some glace. That’s a scoop of mamey sapote, a tropical African tree fruit, that has a distinctive flavor, and one of pineapple sorbet. I walked my bike until I ate the ice cream down to the cone and then biked (in the bike lane) while eating the rest. I’m pretty sure that negates any caloric intake, don’t you think?

Today, we headed out to the Delaware shore for a beach day.

Beach Day

Toes in Sand

We finished our time at the shore with scoops from one of the local ice cream shops. Mine is raspberry truffle and Rudi opted for mocha chip:

National Ice Cream Day

It was quite a good weekend!

Category: dc life,travel. There is/are 1 Comment.

July 15, 2018

just hanging with my pal, jake
posted by soe 1:15 am

Jake and Me

The All-Star Game is this coming Tuesday and will take place here in D.C. There’s lots of hoopla all over the city right now and in the plaza across from our municipal center, they’ve set up life-sized banners of all the players who’ve been named to compete.

I’m a National League girl and the Mets are my team (despite my season-ticketholder status with the Nationals). This is pitcher Jacob deGrom, the Mets’ sole representative to this year’s All-Star lineup. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that the National League plays well on Tuesday.

Category: sports. There is/are 1 Comment.