sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

August 30, 2012

shore leave, second helpings, and fountain frolic
posted by soe 10:55 pm

It has been a week where I have posted a lot in my mind, but thoughts do not translate directly to pixels, so it hasn’t been particularly productive. However, it’s Thursday and I always post on Thursdays.

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. We spent Sunday at the beach. It didn’t rain a drop, the sun periodically crept out from behind the clouds, and the waves were huge. We played in the surf (the undertow was fierce, so we opted not to swim), we saw a pod of dolphins, and we laid on our blanket (which didn’t get soaked this time!) and read. Plus, we found a parking spot that allowed us to pay for the whole day at once, rather than having to run back to the car every two hours to avoid a ticket. All in all, one of the beautiful days of the summer.

2. Rudi, John, and Nicole all wanted seconds of the vegan peach-berry crisp I made on Friday. I wasn’t blown away by it, which made it particularly nice that it was so popular.

3. Georgetown has a large and lovely fountain at their waterfront park meant for children to play in. So, I did after our movie let out tonight.

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

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August 27, 2012

three about three
posted by soe 11:57 pm

Three things about three things:

TV shows I’ve been watching this summer:
1. Inspector Lewis: The quality of the writing on this BBC buddy cop show isn’t always outstanding, but the chemistry between the intergenerational leads is.
2. Psych: ION airs this dramedy in a marathon Saturday nights, and it’s everything I like in a show: ultimately underneath the crime-solving, it’s about how you cobble together a family out of your friends. Plus, ’80s and ’90s pop culture references and guest stars.
3. Leverage: This is another cable show re-aired in marathon sessions on ION. While it’s best if you don’t think about how court cases are going to hold up when the evidence is obtained in questionable means by witnesses who disappear, it’s hard to dismiss the appeal of the ensemble cast.

Activities planned for this week:
1. All’s Well That Ends Well: The first Shakespeare Theatre Free for All production we’ll have seen since they left Carter Barron.
2. My final grass court volleyball match(es) of the season.
3. Paranorman

Things I did this weekend:
1. Spent the day at the beach
2. Had tea in the rain
3. Relaxed by the river with a picnic dinner that included homemade peach crisp and tomato-peach salsa

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August 24, 2012

invigorating, cool, and i live here
posted by soe 12:14 am

It’s late (well, not by my standards, but likely by yours) and I’m knackered. A quick post, and then to bed!

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. A sudden Sunday-morning downpour proves electrifying to the senses.

2. The temperature has taken a turn for the comfortable, making it cool enough that Rudi turns off the a/c and opens the window. It stays that way for days.

3. The ballgame ends in the wee smalls, which places Rudi and me on the Mall at 1 a.m., biking home. We see a night heron by the Washington Monument, ducks in Constitution Garden, and water in the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial (they’ve just refilled it after a long construction project). And that’s without gaping at the Capitol, the Jefferson Memorial, the Wall, and the World War II Memorial. There are a few other people out at that hour, but mostly we are by ourselves, enjoying the scenery.

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

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August 22, 2012

a meme reprised: five books
posted by soe 2:32 am

I last did this meme more than a year ago, which I think makes it eligible to be re-used at this time:

The Book(s) I Am Currently Reading
I started The Age of Miracles, a recently published dystopian coming-of-age novel by Karen Thompson Walker, this morning. I began A.A. Milne’s classic, Winnie-the-Pooh, over the weekend and am reading it slowly, a chapter a night before bed. And, finally, I’ve been plodding through Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Encyclopedia of Life a few pages a time over the course of the last few months.

The Book I Finished Last
Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt. Review to follow, hopefully tomorrow.

The Next Book I Want to Read
Rebecca Stead’s new book, Liar & Spy.

The Last Book I Bought
I feel like there should be something more recent, but it seems like The Enchantress might be the last book I purchased.

The Last Book I Was Given
Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant — a belated and much appreciated Christmas present from Sam.

Feel free to share your own answers in the comments.

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August 17, 2012

over, coming together, and perfect august weather
posted by soe 12:25 am

Much to my delight, I find Thursday has rolled around again. Hooray!

Here are three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I am an appallingly bad volleyball server, so when I finally, after a month, get a serve over the net and in the court, my entire team erupts in cheers. They’re then so excited they spike the ball out, just so I don’t have to try to replicate the accomplishment.

2. Everyone’s schedules finally work out, so seven of us gather for Friday night picnicking at the Yards. It’s a gorgeous evening, with surprisingly few people at the park, allowing us to grab tables between the river and the pool, where we stay until they kick us out after closing.

3. Rudi and I head up to Mitchell Park, where they’re screening Star Wars on an inflatable screen. The movie is a classic, and a hundred or so neighbors have brought their blankets, chairs, dinners, children, grandparents, dogs, and, in one case, pet bunny out to share in the fun. After the film ends, we decide to take ourselves out for ice cream cones, which we eat walking down to the Circle, where we discover a group of musicians jamming. The night is cool and comfortable and we sit on the edge of the fountain and talk. You can’t ask for nicer in mid-August.

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

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August 16, 2012

into the stacks: madhattan mystery
posted by soe 2:23 am

Madhattan Mystery, by John J. Bonk

From the jacket: “While their father honeymoons with his new wife, Lexi McGill and her younger brother, Kevin, are spending their summer in New York City with their actress aunt. Fitting into the hustle and bustle of city life is tough enough for these small-town kids, but when Lexi overhears a secret plot to hide Cleopatra’s famous jewels after they’re stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, their low-key summer turns into a high-stakes adventure.”

My take: Twelve-year-old Lexi and her nine-year-old brother, Kevin, have come to New York City to stay with Aunt Roz, an actress, and attend an urban summer camp. Shortly after arriving at Grand Central Station, Lexi overhears two men planning what sounds like a jewel heist. Although Lexi puts the conversation out of her mind for a while, when a newspaper article reports that gems purportedly belonging to Cleopatra have been stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she wonders if she really did hear the thieves.

Kim Ling Levine, an aspiring investigative journalist whose parents own the building where Aunt Roz lives in, takes the McGill kids under her wing. When camp ends early on the first day and when Lexi discovers her wallet is missing, Kim introduces them to the city where she has grown up. And when she learns that Lexi may have discovered a clue to the whereabouts of the missing jewels, she kick-starts an adventure that promises the summer will be extraordinary.

There are a couple things I really liked about this story. First, as with many New York-based books, the city stands on its own. Bonk frames the mystery of the book around the Whispering Gallery of Grand Central Station (which I’d never heard of, but which you can bet I’ll be trying the next time I’m there), but offers us additional glimpses of the train station, Central Park, Carnegie Hall, the Met, and general ambiance of a very alive location and the assortment of characters you’ll find there. Second, he gives us a modern novel that makes good use of current technology. Kevin is regularly texting on his smart phone, conversing with a friend. They do research via computer. Bonk makes use of technology well in a genre that tends to have a hard time figuring out how to do that. Finally, Lexi is a complicated character. She’s recently lost her mother and is having a tough time dealing with her father’s remarriage. But while only time can heal such wounds, a really big adventure in a really big city can do wonders for helping you along the path.

Definitely an enjoyable read for the elementary school set.

Pages: 292

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