luscious_purple: Baby blasting milk carton with death-ray vision (death-ray baby)
Spring is officially OVER. The DC area was the hottest part of the USA today. Hotter than Florida, Georgia (including Tall Dancer's metro area), south Texas, Arizona, LA....

Bleah. Still getting used to warm weather after the long, cold winter.
luscious_purple: Julia, the Maine Coon Cat (Julia)
Yesterday was the boy toy's B-day, but I had a short article to write (freelance). So while I worked on that, he did some laundry. Later in the afternoon, we went to the local co-op supermarket to get the monthly "patron appreciation day" discount (5 percent off everything). In the evening I cooked us a meal from one of Jamie Oliver's cookbooks: a fish frittata with a light waldorf salad on the side. It came out OK; I wouldn't want to eat it every day, but it was tasty enough for a change.

Today we went into DC. First we stopped at the American History Museum to see the exhibit on the 1960s, because the building first opened in 1964 -- 50 years ago. It was a small but good-quality exhibit, featuring a beautifully restored 1964 Ford Mustang, a diorama of the New York World's Fair, and some glass tubes from an early build-your-own-laser kit. Then the boy toy noticed the tents for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the Mall, so we walked around that for a while. It was warm and mildly humid, but not oppressively so (like SO many summer days around here).

Next we took the Orange Line to Eastern Market because neither one of us had ever been there. The building itself reminded me of what Quincy Market in Boston might be like if it hadn't gotten all gussied up for the tourists. We didn't bring an insulated bag and we usually get our fresh meat at the Amish market anyway, but we did pick up a chunk of Parmesan cheese.

Finally, we walked a few blocks to a Cuban/Puerto Rican restaurant and had a late lunch slash early dinner. His meal turned out to be a HUGE platter so he will be getting a second meal out of that.

Less than three months to go till my own birthday, which I will share this year not only with the Barony of Storvik, but also Our National Anthem as it hits the Big Two-Oh-Oh. About time I check out some of the festivities at Fort McHenry, and maybe we'll find a cool restaurant somewhere in Baltimore.
luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Default)
More on last night's sudden thunder-boomer. I wonder whether we're going to have another one of those tonight. It's getting awfully cloudy out there.

Rather glad I'm not out on the Mall, because it is a PITA when the rangers clear people off the Mall because of an impending T-storm and then we all go into the buildings and then have to exit the Smithsonian buildings on the outside of the Fourth of July security zone and then have to go through the security gates all over again. Blergh.

Happy Fourth of July anyway....
luscious_purple: Julia, the Maine Coon Cat (Julia)
Holy moley, I skipped a whole week of LJ/DW without going to Pennsic! Well, I still have been reading things and commenting occasionally. I just got busy this past week -- for three days I day-tripped to Baltimore to cover a cat-toy conference for my previous employer, and then I finished writing about it on the fourth day. Freelance, of course.

(Yes, I know that humans refer to the event as a "laser science conference." My cats tell me that their species allows humans to THINK that they use lasers for Very Important Purposes, such as telecommunications, reading CD and DVD discs, eye surgery, catching speeding automobiles, and erasing gang tattoos. However, lasers are REALLY just The World's Best Cat Toys Evah.)

Part of me would have liked to go to Spring Crown Tourney yesterday, but I had promised the boy toy months and months ago that we would go to Europe in DC again this year. That's the day when the EU member countries open their embassy doors to the public. Last year we got to the UK embassy just as the day's events were winding down and the booths were closing up (unlike most of the other embassies, the UK's holds its festivities outdoors on its grounds). So this time around, the boy toy wanted to go there first and get some swag, so that's exactly what we did -- get our Union Jack tote bags with all sorts of brochures and a Scottish flag and whatnot. And we toured the pretty gardens and photographed a table set up with the same place settings as at the Royal Wedding reception. Awww.

Then we also went to the embassies of Finland and Belgium. The former is an impressively LEED-certified modern wood-glass-and-steel cube. The latter had an interesting curved front, and I said to the boy toy that this might be a historic visit if the country splits in two and there isn't a single "Belgian" embassy in a year or five. We didn't stand in the separate (long) line for a small wedge of a Belgian waffle, but we did get a couple of small cups of beer on the way out of the embassy building. Scored a piece of chocolate, too.

The UK experience inspired us to watch The King's Speech (borrowed from the boy toy's Mom, an Anglophilic Episcopal priest) last night. Awesome. I used to date a guy with a stutter -- something like 15 years ago -- and I wonder what he thinks of this movie.

Before I forget -- Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers on my f-list!
luscious_purple: Julia, the Maine Coon Cat (Julia)
To honor what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday, I am posting links to a wonderful set of photos of the Beatles' February 1964 visit to Washington, D.C., immediately after their famous appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

http://1stusvisit.absoluteelsewhere.net/WashingtonDC/washington_dc.html

(This is part of a much larger site about John Lennon.)

Since it was snowing, the Beatle entourage took the train from NYC to Union Station. This had the added advantage of putting them only a few blocks from the arena where they were going to give their concert, instead of on the opposite side of the Potomac River. (Remember, these guys attracted huge flocks of screaming girls wherever they went, so it was kinda hard for them to move around.)

I'd never seen any of these photos before I stumbled across them last night, so I was captivated by them. On the train ride, the Fab Four were obviously hamming it up for the photographers, yet they also seemed to be having casual fun. After all, at that time, they weren't much older than frat boys! (And, hey, train travel has certainly changed over the years, hasn't it? They don't make trains like that anymore, at least on our side of the pond!)

The sightseeing photos are cool because you can see the Beatles in front of federal buildings that still exist today -- and the District government wasn't any better at cleaning the streets in 1964 than it is today!

Finally, it's fascinating to see the Fab Four take the stage with their primitive equipment. If anybody's curious about the building where they were playing, the Washington Coliseum (formerly Uline Arena) ... it still stands but is used as a warehouse/garage and is pretty rundown-looking. You can see it from Metro's Red Line. It's a pity it hasn't been refurbished. It might be too small for modern rock concerts, but it would be a great space for some sort of arts center.
luscious_purple: Baby blasting milk carton with death-ray vision (death-ray baby)
Last night I got on the Green Line at Gallery Place, as usual, only to find some guy talking really, really loudly on the train car. At first I noticed that he was leaning casually in his seat with his arm up along the back of the seat. The first sentence from thim that my brain processed was "You can get all the sex you want for forty-five dollars!" Hmmm, that made him sound like a crank.

Turned out, though, that he was doing some preachin'. Next thing you know, he's shouting that we all have filthy souls that need to be cleansed by Jesus. And then he started saying that the Bible says that homosexuality is the worst sin of all.

OK, that got my goat. So at the next station, I got off the train and reboarded the next car back. Then I noticed that an off-duty security guard whom I was sitting near had done the same thing. He looked at me too and we both rolled our eyes simultaneously. He made some remark like "I just couldn't stand him," and I said, "Yeah, I've already got my own religion." Then I went back to my reading (one of the collections of Darkover stories).

This morning, on an inbound Green Line train, some guy was playing loud, jangly music from his cell phone WITHOUT earphones. Not a genre I was familiar with, but I'd loosely describe it as techno hip-hop with some electronic buzzing and clacking. At any rate, it was definitely against the WMATA rule about no audio without earphones. To make matters worse, this guy was sitting sideways with his legs up on the seat next to him -- a kind of seat hoggery you're not supposed to commit even at the end of rush hour. People were giving him surreptitious looks but he ignored them. Le sigh.
luscious_purple: Julia, the Maine Coon Cat (Julia)
Today is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's. I just found this out. Runs until 8 p.m. Woo-hoo!!!

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