sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

May 25, 2019

memorial day weekend planning
posted by soe 1:04 am

It’s a holiday weekend here honoring those who’ve sacrificed their lives in the protection of the U.S. and unofficially kicking off the summer season. Here in D.C., outdoor pools open for the season (on weekends only right now; daily after school lets out) and outdoor films and concerts start occurring more regularly.

Here’s what I’m hoping the next three days include:

  • Spending time at the pool.
  • Finally dealing with the clothing switch. (The last time I planned it, high temps dipped back down to March averages and all incentive was gone. But there are several 90s in the next week, so I absolutely no longer care about pants.)
  • Harvesting peas and strawberries and spending time in the garden.
  • Listening to some baseball.
  • Drinking strawberry daiquiris.
  • Reading outside. (I started Caraval earlier today and am loving it so far, for you y.a. fantasy fans.)
  • Backing up my phone. (It’s really irritating how much space it feels it needs in order to operate at peak efficiency, but it’s probably not a bad thing to have a second copy of my photos.)
  • Painting my fingernails. (I did my toes the other day and pulled out the bottles for my hands, but decided to wait until after I did my volunteer shift yesterday, since I wasn’t sure how hands-on it would be.)
  • Picking up some holds at the library.
  • Baking something. My audiobook mentioned handpies last night, so maybe some of them…
  • Swapping out the duvet cover for a lightweight one.
  • Seeing a friend.

How about you? What’s on your to-do list for the weekend? Is it all barbecue and beach trips? Sleeping until afternoon? Parades?

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May 24, 2019

shelter from the storm, author event, and spring
posted by soe 1:56 am

After the Storm

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I knew there were afternoon thundershowers expected around the time I was getting out of my volunteer shift, but I’d hoped to beat the storm home. I was still a dozen blocks away when I realized that the wind gusts were making cycling too dangerous to continue, so I docked my bike by the library and ran inside, a little damp from the first drops of rain, but ahead of the deluge that followed moments later — and the tornado warning that came on its heels. I parked myself at a table and read until the warning lifted.

2. Author Kevin Kwan appeared at the Library of Congress yesterday and they showed a screening of Crazy Rich Asians beforehand. I don’t tend to love interview-style author events (although I do understand why some authors might find them more enjoyable than having to get up on stage and riff for half an hour), but Kwan was affable to both his interviewer and to the audience members who asked questions, offering up a pleasant way to pass an evening. (They’re filming the second and third movies at the same time next year, and he’s currently working on two tv series and at least two novels.)

3. Because I have the ability to use my phone as a hotspot, I sometimes take my laptop up to the park on beautiful days and hang out at a picnic table for several hours. On Monday, I headed up in the late afternoon, was still there in the early evening when Rudi stopped by on his way out with friends, and finally closed things up after dark (I wasn’t the only one still there on such a beautiful night), when he texted he was on his way home from the film.

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

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May 23, 2019

pre-memorial day unraveling
posted by soe 1:42 am

I should probably have paid attention when Flickr announced they were going to be down for maintenance, because it didn’t occur to me that they meant for 12 hours. And I just don’t have it in me to upload the photo another way right now, so until Flickr comes back online, assume that this paragraph is a shot consisting of a pot of tea, a biscuit, a half skein of yarn that had not yet been cast on for a second sock, and a book on a table outside. It looked not dissimilar from last week’s shot.

The second of my Smock Madness pair was cast on this evening. It’s nice to think that pair could be finished in a couple weeks.

I had Murder in G Major with me again today, so that’s the book that was included in the picture. Gethsemane has survived a poisoning, performed some tunes in the local bar, and convinced a ghost to write her a concerto, so life is looking up a bit for her. Elsewhere, I’m listening to The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss, which starts off at the newly constructed outpost of the Nearly Silent Monastery (they have a vocabulary of eight words and practice listening) here in Washington, D.C., where a small girl has wandered in with no information about where she came from. And I also started Death Prefers Blondes, a y.a. novel about a rich girl who runs a crew of teen drag queens in performing elaborate heists around the L.A. area.

Want to hear about what other folks are reading and crafting (many of them have photos!)? Head over to As Kat Knits to catch the roundup.

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May 22, 2019

10 films i’m looking forward to this summer
posted by soe 1:34 am

Today was my final Tuesday volleyball game for a while, which means I’m likely able to take advantage of $5 movie night again. This turned my thoughts to what might be playing this summer that I’d like to see:

  1. Spiderman: Far From Home (I didn’t love Avengers: End Game, but I do love this iteration of Peter Parker.)
  2. Rocketman (obviously the soundtrack will be great)
  3. Late Night (Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson? Yes, please!)
  4. Men in Black International (aka Asgardians in Suits)
  5. Yesterday (What if you were suddenly the only person who knew The Beatles’ repertoire?)
  6. The Farewell (I’ve loved Awkwafina in everything I’ve seen her in thus far, including that phone/pedicure commercial currently on tv, and will definitely want to see this — with a box of tissues.)
  7. Blinded by the Light (Rudi and I just saw a trailer for this film — about a 1980s British Indian teen boy who falls in love with the music of The Boss — last week, and it looks awesome!)
  8. Booksmart (Because I probably should have had a couple wild adventures back in the day…)
  9. Shaft (I have never seen any of the previous iterations, but this could be fun.)
  10. The Spy Behind Home Plate (I missed The Catcher Is Also a Spy last year, so I might do a double-header of this documentary with that biopic.)

Between these and the free outdoor film screenings that started up tonight, I should catch up on a ton of movies this summer. How about you? What would you like to catch at the theater this summer?

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May 21, 2019

into the stacks 2019: march
posted by soe 1:25 am

A stab toward getting back on track. Here are the three books I finished back in March:

Geekerella, by Ashley Poston

A retelling of Cinderella, this novel is set in modern South Carolina and features geek girl Elle, a hard-working orphan who blogs lovingly about a cheesy sci-fi tv show from the 1980s (the first to feature a lead by an Asian-American actor), and teen soap heartthrob Darien, who’s just been hired to play the hero in a modern reboot movie. As chapters alternate between the two, we learn that Elle, whose parents met at a Starfield signing line and who went on to found a convention in its honor, is spending the summer working in a vegan food truck called the Magic Pumpkin, much to the shame of her stepmother and two stepsisters. Darien, on the other hand, has just discovered that his manager (also his father, but he’s not allowed to call him Dad) has signed him up to appear at a fan convention after shooting wraps at the end of the summer. He has a hard and fast rule about not appearing at Cons, since his ex-friend betrayed him publicly at one several years ago. Hoping to take his destiny back into his own hands, he finds the Con’s website and texts a phone number he finds associated with it. Guess who’s at the other end of that number… (more…)

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May 20, 2019

notes from the garden: mid-may
posted by soe 1:35 am

I’ve spent two evenings at the garden this week, pulling it back into shape after all the rain we’ve had and planting the seedlings I purchased at the beginning of the month.


When I arrived on Wednesday, I was greeted with bolted sorrel, as tall as I was.

Garden: May 19

By the time I left tonight, it looked a little better.

I’m growing at least three types of peas (I planted nine varieties, I think…).

There are purple and green pods:

Purple Peas

Green Peas

And then there are these pea plants, which are short and stocky and have what look like they should be black-eyed pea flowers:

Fava Bean Flowers

These are, it turns out, the fava beans I planted. Cool, eh?


My chard seeds are doing well, as are some of the other greens I planted from seed, although they’re way shorter.


I harvested four types of greens today that were turned into tonight’s salads. There’s definitely romaine, arugula, and mizuna, all of which I planted from seedling, and one other that has jumped up from seeds I planted — upland cress, I think.

Spring Onions & Bronze Fennel

The rest of my spring plants are doing well, too. As you can see, my spring onions have flourished, to such a degree that I’m going to have a little bit of a challenge getting my potatoes in. My mint, oregano, lavender, rosemary, and bronze fennel (which reseeded itself) are also doing well. I put hay (stolen from the garden’s decorative banana plant’s winter bedding) under my strawberry plants this spring, and it has so far had the benefit of keeping the slugs from devouring all my strawberries before I get to partake of them. I’ve gotten about a dozen berries out of the garden so far and hope to have several dozen more as the season goes on.

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