sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 30, 2015

halloween, supergirl, and double feature date night
posted by soe 3:16 am

If it’s Thursday, it’s time for Three Beautiful Things from my week past:

1. A well-timed discount code and fast shipping from the Post Office means my box of footwear from Sock Dreams arrives with more than a week left before Halloween. I’ve enjoyed wearing seasonal socks all week — stripey knee highs and tights and normal socks with Jack o’Lantern faces on them.

2. We’d been watching Supergirl trailers all summer with some trepidation: what if it wasn’t as good as it seemed like it was going to be? We needn’t have worried, though. For a show premiere, it was pretty strong episode, and we’re excited about its future.

3. We follow up It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on network tv with a late showing of Hotel Transylvania 2, where we had the theater to ourselves.

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

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October 27, 2015

late-october weekending
posted by soe 2:26 am

Maples along the Mall

This past weekend was a pleasant one. On Saturday, knowing I’d need to rise early the next day, I slept in. When I woke up, I made some tea and toast and moved to the couch to begin reading the new Robert Galbraith detective story, Career of Evil. It’s a creepy novel, appropriate for the season, I suppose. Eventually, though, I decided some activity (and sunshine) was in order and changed into my bike togs.

Maples on the Mall

As you may remember, the past couple falls I’ve done the Coffeeneuring challenge, the seasonal pairing of cycling and hot drinks. I like trying new places as part of participating, so when, during the week, I read about a place called The Pretzel Bakery across the city, I decided that would be one of my destinations. After making a few exchanges at the library, I biked down to the river, across the Mall, and over to Capitol Hill. The bakery is a walk-up adjacent to a ball field in the Barney Circle neighborhood, clearly a boon to business. I sampled each of their wares, as well as a hot Nutella drink with marshmallows before pedaling home, racing the setting sun.

An Everything Pretzel from the Pretzel Bakery

On Sunday, a friend’s husband was running the marathon, so we rose early (for me) and went down to Rock Creek Park to cheer him on. (Marcus is very fast, so you can’t linger in bed if you want to catch him at the part of the course we live near.) I won’t lie; I was practically asleep still, and it was probably only the chilly rainwater seeping in the hole in my sneaker that kept me upright for the half hour this entailed.

We hit the farmers market, put in several hours at the garden for our fall cleanup day, and dozed with a cat for a bit (that may have just been me), before rallying late in the afternoon. A chai bar moved into the neighborhood last year and, despite being intrigued I’d never managed to make it over there (they close early in the evening). Rudi and I decided to go check it out. The shop, which also sells Indian spices, makes their various chais in front of you, so we sat at the beautiful counter and sipped our spicy beverages.


We finished the night by meeting up with our marathon-running pal, who still needed to replenish several hundred more calories, for ice cream at our local shop. It was nice to catch up on how he and his wife have been and was a perfect ending to the weekend.

Weekending along with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise.

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October 23, 2015

league champs, lone maple, and the bookish internet
posted by soe 2:50 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. The Mets, in a surprising fashion to any long-time fans, dispensed with their league championship foes in quick succession, winning the first four games of the series to sweep the Cubs out of the post-season. Second baseman Daniel Murphy continued to play exceptionally well and was named the NLCS MVP.

2. This maple tree at Lafayette Square (the park directly in front of the White House) was resplendent today:

Lafayette Square Maple

Lafayette Square Maple


3. One of my personal favorite Twitter feeds is @booksfordc, which shares every new book the library catalogues (and adds to their new book slideshow). Thanks to them, I discovered over the weekend that the new Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) mystery novel had been added to the system early. Click the link in the tweet, which sends you to the DCPL website, where you can put a hold on the book — and pick it up day of release for free mere blocks from the office.

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

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October 18, 2015

dewey’s 24-hour readathon: hour 22
posted by soe 5:15 am

This is not my 22nd hour of participation in Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, but is the 22nd hour the readathon has been going on. I am a bad readathon participant and fell back asleep this morning, got a slow start, went out for a while this afternoon, and put my book down after a while to listen to the Mets game on the radio. Oh, and I went out a few hours ago to find a non-apple snack.

The good news is that I’ve read three books during these past 22 hours:

Bandette by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover is a graphic novel about a charming teen cat burglar/Robin Hood. I bought it last spring on Free Comic Book Day, when the cover and a rave review from my local comics shop caught my eye. If you enjoy capers (of the hijinks variety, rather than the pickled vegetable matter), this is for you. The book is also interesting in that it includes a few pages of script from the writer (so you can see his suggestions vs. what appears on the page), as well as a demonstration of how the artist goes about doing her work. I was captivated enough that I contemplated running over to the shop to see if they had the second volume in stock.

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (which I checked out from the library) is about a fat Texas girl growing up in a small town noted for its annual beauty pageant. Dumplin’, aka Willowdean, juggles grief after her beloved aunt dies, confusion over boys who have crushes on her, frustration at the growing distance between her and her lifelong best friend, and disappointment with her ex-pageant winning mother, who greets Willowdean’s (and several other misfits’) surprise entrance into the pageant (which she runs) with a lack of enthusiasm. The book has received a lot of buzz among the YA book community, and it’s easy to see why. Willowdean, a mostly confident, Dolly Parton-loving teenager, is not a perfect hero, but she knows it and is working on making her space in the world a comfortable one.

I Am Not Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos is about a boy, Joey, whose father comes back into the picture after winning a comfortable sum of money on the lottery. Declaring himself a new man (with a new name), he declares his interest in picking up as a family man, and Joey’s mother, eager herself for a new life, agrees. Joey, whose parents have decided will be henceforth be called Freddy, is suspicious of his father’s transformation and his mother’s willingness to be bought off, but isn’t given a lot of choice in the matter. He’s moved, made to throw out all his old things, taken out of school, and given a series of increasingly erratic tasks to do by his parents, and somehow this 6th-grader must still find a way to live with himself and the adults who ought to have his interests at heart. Probably a good series for those who have aged out of the Wimpy Kids books, but who aren’t yet ready for Percy Jackson.

I may read a bit more, or I may call it for the night. I have to go back to work on Monday, and I’d like not to do it as a zombie.

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October 16, 2015

mid-october yarning along
posted by soe 4:06 am

Mid-October Yarning Along

That, there, is a photo by someone who was very tired. So tired, in fact, that after she took the picture, she uploaded the photo, opened the laptop, and then dozed off without writing a post to merit the shot.

The sock, which is inside-out because I haven’t finished weaving in the ends, is the first of my Halloween socks. I hope to get some serious knitting done on sock #2 over the next few days so I can wear them a decent amount for the rest of the season.

I’m also hoping to finish Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ this weekend. I meant to get more reading done while up in Connecticut, but there’s just never enough time when visiting. I’m enjoying the story so far: it features an overweight teen girl who is (apparently) going to decide to try out for the local beauty pageant run by her mother. The book’s gotten great reviews in the YA book community, so I’m excited to see if the buzz is deserving.

Belatedly yarning along with Ginny at Small Things.

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division champs, fall leaves, and decoration
posted by soe 3:53 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. The Mets advance to the NL Championship on a savvy base-running play by Daniel Murphy.

2. New England foliage in the autumn is better than any other foliage anytime.

3. A life-sized lawn inflatable shaped like a stagecoach and “peopled” by ghosts, skeletons, and ghouls.

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

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