Wednesday, September 30, 2009

curves and lines

What I'm noticing today

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I don't mean that in a cool, pirate kind of way. This poster by the Natural History Museum sums it up. Just aaarrrggghhh.

photo club

My friend John recently came up with the brilliant notion of a photo club. He sent out the idea to interested parties, and a first assignment, and now we are off and running! Our first assignment was to photograph a triangle. I decided that I would try to treat my photo essay as an exercise in looking, and try to come up with a series of images in one afternoon. Not sure if I will be able to continue this added self-challenge - that will depend on the nature of the future assignments. All I know is that is is fun to have an idea from outside my own sensibilities imposed upon me. Some art school nostalgia? For sure. But more importantly, a chance for some different perspectives, some opening of the eyes. Art. Fun. Sharing.
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Monday, September 28, 2009

mucho bueno

Either we missed last year's parade, or this year's festival they went all out. We timed it perfectly, arriving just in time for the parade, and getting out just as the rain started. Bueno!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

baby squirrel

The other morning on our way to school we came across this baby squirrel in the middle of the sidewalk. He seemed frightened in general, but was not particularly afraid of my daughter, and kept coming up to her, looking, I think for affection and protection - and probably food.

Just when we were wondering how he could have got there, we heard a loud crack and another baby squirrel fell out of the large, nearby tree and hit the sidewalk. He was stunned, and I was afraid, at first, that he might not be alive. But he got up slowly and started to limp a little.

I was nervous for both little animals and was looking up in the tree for signs of a predator. But then a full-grown squirrel appeared, clicking and chirping squirrel-talk. The little kamikaze squirrel seemed to find his legs again and followed her (?) up the tree, chasing her around and around.

Our first little friend was just staying put on the sidewalk, looking rather lost. We hated to leave him there, but with the other squirrels nearby and no sign of a hungry cat or hawk, there didn't seem anything else to do. I hope the little guy made it back home. When we checked the same area this morning there were no signs of foul play, thankfully.

Ahh, nature, city-style.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

reading is fundamental

Scenes from the Book Festival

We caught a glimpse of Paula Deen (still not sure what she was hawking), a bit of rain, a LOT of people and tons of book schwag.

A success.

Friday, September 25, 2009

auf wiedersehen

I watched my last Project Runway. I'm done. Tim Gunn may still be under contract to stick around (without any bon mots or pretense of caring), but I'm not. I tried to look the other way with the (stoopid) location change (hey, if it ain't NY, then maybe Paris or Milan, but L.A.? Puhleeze.) But with the too-obvious stunt casting choices and the attempt to be shocking by keeping the loud-mouth "good-TV" (but crappy talent) and letting go of the actually creative (Ra'mon)...I'm done. Heidi et al - you're out.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

one after 909

for Murph...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

due fratelli

Don't they look like brothers?

They were certainly out on a stroll through the streets of Palermo, and stopped in at the photographic studio on a warm, sunny day. They paused in their pose for a moment to regard each other and later sent a photographic postcard to beloved friends and family.

I have that postcard now. They are definitely related, but I wish I knew exactly who they were...

Elegantly Dressed Wednesday button
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

snippets from an afternoon

A (presumed) crazy man having a lively conversation with himself in Starbucks. No earbud/phone in sight. Or maybe it was invisible.

Or maybe we're the crazy ones.

A Valley Girl (lawyer? Yikes!) talking loudly about "extrapolating important information..." accent on the "trap" and "may" syllables.

Oh. My. God.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

"um, so...what's the procedure for mailing?"

Last I heard, it still involved envelopes and even sometimes, stamps.

Oh digital world have we come so far already?

Or gone too far?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

pulling the covers over my head

Errands to run, some necessary phone calls, some paperwork...

But it's Sunday.

Hope to find a relaxing moment...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

because you should make your birthday last more than a week


Woodmont Grill, Bethesda

Friday, September 18, 2009

our new commute

Thursday, September 17, 2009

rain and lines

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

my favorite Swayze

Hands down, Point Break. He was a surfer/philosopher/bank robber and even looked hot wearing the ex-president mask. He was Keanu's guru. He went out in search of the perfect wave. Cowabunga, dude. May you always ride the crest.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

kanye who?

More proof that there are still people with grace in the world

As opposed to those who just run their mouth.

Monday, September 14, 2009

nonsense and insensibility

Yesterday my daughter and I were standing at a corner after a shopping excursion at Target, waiting for the light to change in our favor when two young dudes came up behind us, talking very loudly and only using expletives.

I was this close to turning around and yelling at them to STFU (speak the language of the natives) when the light finally changed and they skateboarded and biked on their way, still cursing, still oblivious. My daughter looked up at me and said, "I don't like them." I couldn't help myself and answered, "There's nothing to like."

What has happened to communication in our culture?

I have been immersed in reading classic literature lately, so their conversation sounded especially jarring to my ears. I understand that young dudes are prone to bombast. I have been known to use a colorful turn of phrase (or two or three) myself, but I am working on trying to clean up my act. No promises for any utterances made whilst driving...

But couldn't the two dudes in question, even if they were being loud and full of themselves, have taken a pause, or at least turned down the volume when they came within inches of a 5 1/2 year old girl? It didn't even occur to them.

Cher Horowitz: So okay, I don't want to be a traitor to my generation and all but I don't get how guys dress today. I mean, come on, it looks like they just fell out of bed and put on some baggy pants and take their greasy hair - ew - and cover it up with a backwards cap and like, we're expected to swoon? I don't think so.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I was raised a movie buff. Both my mom and dad loved movies and loved to know the names of actors and spot and follow them from film to film. And I have picked up the same tendency and sport. But even a movie buff can be stumped by a character actor who appears in so many roles and is so good in them, that you forget the name of the actor (if you ever knew it) and just remember the parts he or she played. Whenever one of these actors would pop up in an old black and white film, they would say, "Look, it's Gooseberry!" Gooseberry was their name for four or five actors who were similar in looks or manner or role, but whose real names eluded them ( I know that one of their Gooseberries was Donald Meek - he looks like a Gooseberry, doesn't he?), but I'm no longer sure who the others were).

Last night as some friends and I were watching Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility, we had a Gooseberry moment. We all recognized a supporting actor in the piece and could name various other shows that he had been in that we had seen, but no one had a clue as to his name. After checking out the cast on IMDb this afternoon, I think the actor we were talking about was Robert Hardy. He looks familiar, doesn't he? When you read his list of roles you will recognize him from many films and televison series. But excuse me if I continue to refer to him as Gooseberry.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

born today

If today is your birthday: You will make great progress in the coming year. Your most cherished ambitions may not all be fulfilled, but you will move closer to a point where you can reach for them with confidence. If you really want something to happen, it will.


Unexpected changes can disrupt the usual order and routine of your life. You may want more creative expression in your work, but those in control tend to be unsympathetic. You may waver between conservative and rebellious urges. Friends may be stimulating but can exasperate your career aspirations with unrealistic ideals. Today is the day to tend to those special friendships. Balance between friends is important. You never play one against another or keep secrets. Today you may decide a celebration is in order and perhaps a get-together can be planned, such as a family reunion or friends that love to visit. This afternoon may call for a shopping expedition before a party--you are very organized and intuitively know the best buys.


If Today is Your Birthday: September 12

The Year Ahead

Forecast for September 2009 to September 2010

If You Were Born Today, September 12: You are an especially clever and knowledgeable person. Your intuition is powerful, and you're able to quickly size up a situation or person. Others frequently turn to you for your wise and unique advice. You're generous with your time and energy, always willing to help out those who really need it. Still, you are not a pushover and although you don't need much of it, you do appreciate gratitude. Famous people born today: Maurice Chevalier, Emmy Rossum, Rachel Ward, Peter Scolari, Barry White.

Your Forecast: When a Quarter Moon occurs in your Return chart, as it does this year, you are at some sort of a turning point in your life, in terms of personal growth. Events that occur this year act as catalysts that get you in touch with some important issues in your emotional life. Your emotions run high, and mood swings or identity crises are possible. There may be some kind of conflict in your life arising from a great urge to do something different. It promises to be a busy, dynamic, and significant period in your life.

Saturn has passed its transiting conjunction to your Sun, and you are likely to feel a lighter load in terms of responsibilities and obligations this year.

Mercury is square Pluto in your Solar Return chart, which introduces some intensity in your thought patterns and interactions with others. Try to avoid coming on too strong with your opinions. You are hungry for deeper meaning, but a suspicious attitude, or making mountains out of molehills, won‘t serve you well. Some secretiveness is possible. At times, you may have a troubled mind and some mental anxiety. On the other hand, it can suggest the ability to engage in deep, penetrating communication this year. Mercury governs speech, and you will need to watch what and how you communicate. Something you write or say could lead to opposition from others. Your need to investigate and read between the lines is strong this year. It’s best used for research and increased awareness of psychological motivations, both of others and yourself.

Venus opposite Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune around the time of your birthday this year brings love and romance into your life, but you could encounter problems due to overblown expectations or excessive behavior. You may overindulge your various appetites whether for social intercourse, food, sex, candy, alcohol, or whatever tickles your fancy. You might also fall for fantasies of people rather than for who they really are. Find a way to strike a balance between self-gratification and the obligations of daily life. Try to avoid taking risks with love and finances that stem from restlessness or unrealistic expectations.

With Mars in dynamic aspect to Neptune, you may enjoy an increase in your intuitive capabilities, although if taken to an extreme, you could be too open to influence so that fears or delusions impact your ability to see your life clearly. Take an objective look also at how your dreams and visions fit into the lives of others and the world in general. This could also be a year in which you are considerably more creative.

Jupiter conjunct Chiron and Neptune in your Solar Return chart suggests that idealistic and humanitarian goals or impulses have more significance in your life this year. You may experience an increased need for greater understanding, wisdom, and awareness, as well as increased interest in the healing arts and holistic health this year. It may be a time during which you reconsider or revamp your personal belief system. Everyday, ordinary life may not always satisfy, as you hunger for a more idealistic life.

Saturn in opposition to Uranus around the time of your birthday suggests some restlessness. Attempts to assert your individuality, freedom, and originality undermine your feelings of groundedness and security. Yet, you are not satisfied when you conform. There may be sudden and unexpected twists that force you to do something different or that help free yourself from old habits. Adjusting your plans is in order, and striking a balance between convention and innovation is the challenge. Setbacks tend to be temporary and often lead to new, more creative paths or solutions. Ambivalence is likely and could color many of your interactions.

You're likely to make new friendships and enjoy good times with an especially cooperative and accepting disposition this year. However, a tendency to put your faith in the wrong people or projects is quite strong, and to overdo indulgences in pleasures. Emotional decision-making is another thing to watch for.

2009 is a Number Five year for you. Ruled by Mercury. This is a year of exploration and freedom. It's a time when exploration and reaching out to others brings opportunities. It's a good time to advertise and sell. Surprises are in store, and the routine is broken. This is a year when exciting relationships can be formed, or, if you are already in a partnership, new life is breathed into the relationship. Advice - explore, look for adventure, keep your eyes open for opportunities, mingle.

2010 will be a Number Six year for you. Ruled by Venus. This is a year of relative contentment. It is a time when love is the easiest to attract, and partnerships formed under this vibration have a better chance for longevity. You are able to attract others, and material things as well, this year. This is a good year for establishing harmony in the family and in the home. Advice - develop existing relationships, be positive and receptive because these kinds of energies help you to attract what you desire.

The individual birthday forecast above is written by Annie Heese and is copyright

Friday, September 11, 2009

lemon fruit pie

as a pre-birthday treat...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

it' still summer, dammit!

Yes, there's a touch of brrrr in the air, but why is everyone so intent on rushing the (fall) season? Flu shots at work are being scheduled a month early. My kid's school has declared the fundraiser we always do around Xmas (which consists mostly of holiday wrapping paper) should start now and be wrapped up (pun intended) by the end of the month. Yikes. I was born in mid-September and know that I am a summer baby. I'm not ready to say goodbye to summer yet. I'll be thinking of fall on September 22. Until then, slow it down, people!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Sporting her new gap:

Following a family tradition of losing teeth in an interesting way, this first one was lost (and swallowed) while eating pizza.

I remember losing one tooth when I was a kid in butter pecan ice cream and another in a wedge of tomato in a salad. Papa Freud believed that dreaming about losing teeth is a sign of anxiety. I used to have dreams like this in my twenties, but don't seem to have had any recently. I know I have more anxieties now than I did then (or thought I did.) Wonder what's replacing the toothy dreams...
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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

tooth fairy time

"I lost my tooth, Mommy! It fell out and I swallowed it with my pizza. It's funny." - Note forwarded from her teacher.

Time to introduce the tooth fairy.

And I was worried about her first day of kindergarten...

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Monday, September 07, 2009


Tears at bedtime, "I miss my grandma!" but we both know it's really about tomorrow. I know just where she's coming from, as I always had first-day, new-job jitters. I still get them going to jury duty or some other new environment. But I also crave constant change. Bit of a paradox, huh? Just another quirky trait I'm passing along. I'm sure tomorrow will go fine. I just wish she could relax and fall asleep. And then maybe I could, too.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

seven gables

After our road trip to New England I am awash in all the genealogical data that I collected - talk about a big project - and am reading Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables to continue the mood as long as I can.

Yes, I'm in complete denial about Tuesday.

I am really enjoying Hawthorne's complicated prose, which is really making me take my time in the reading of it. The atmosphere is starting to creep...

Now if only I could find a copy of the Vincent Price movie, the mood would be complete.

p.s. I bought a cross-stitch kit of the house, but that's a really long-term project...

Saturday, September 05, 2009

"i wanna go back to solution..."

Imagine: John Lennon is on and she's rockin' to the Beatles' Revolution.

Revolution = solution, or solution = Revolution.


Friday, September 04, 2009

movie marathon continues

Emily Blunt is a delight (and has some of the best lines) in this Meryl Streep-fest...

Emily: Andrea, my God! You look so chic.

Andy Sachs: Oh, thanks. You look so thin.

Emily: Really? It's for Paris, I'm on this new diet. Well, I don't eat anything and when I feel like I'm about to faint I eat a cube of cheese. I'm just one stomach flu away from my goal weight.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

movie madness

Still recovering from my tummy trouble, we had an easy day, with an interesting movie marathon: Back to the Future, Shrek, Stardust, and Enchanted.

Time travel with ogres, princes and princesses, shooting stars, a dancing DeNiro in drag—throughout la-la-land—in a good way.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

sweet ride

We're back in D.C. and I'm back in my beloved Honda.

But don't tell...I kind of miss our big-ass, big-fun rental...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


We just watched the supremely silly but very enjoyable Bee-ah-tuls flick Help! As my daughter was bopping around and asking, "Which one's that one? Is that Ringo?" we realized that her summer 'do has evolved into a Beatles bob...