Archive for the 'before coffee' Category

Silliness and books

The silliness…..

I’ve been segmenting my evenings from serious stuff (work/the latest news). And once, when we didn’t have power because of a line repair, I went to the movie theater to enjoy their heat, light, and be amused for a while.

The Movie

Silly movie to go see: Knives Out. It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a Christie-esque whodunit, with actors who give the performances of their lives… people who I wasn’t sure would fit in a comedy ensemble (Don Johnson, Chris Pine, Daniel Craig). And Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Plummer play their roles with elan (and a whole lot of humor). It does have barf humor/plotlines. If you can’t deal with that… I’d skip it.

The Books

Catherynne M. Valente, Space Opera. [Link is to an independent bookseller in the USA, but I suspect it’s available on Am$z0n or can be ordered in your region.] First, if you don’t know what Eurovision is, go here. And then imagine it held in space, between lots of planets. Somewhat reminiscent of the good things from Hitchhiker’s Guide, with a unique story/universe, etc.

Rosemary Mosco’s Birding is my Favorite Video Game. If you want a taste, check out her Bird and Moon comics here. This was a gift from a very smart family member who found out I was a fan of the comics. It was read by multiple family members before it was wrapped. Nerdy and fun. Possibly teen friendly.

Hoping

We keep hoping things will get better, while we try to make things better. Double exertion/double exhaustion. I just have to remember that I can only influence what I touch, and cannot stop everything in the world to fix it.

Rose blooming in a yard.
Oh Texas rose, you are so thorny… you tower, queen of the yard.

Work has been busy (a good but exhausting thing), so I haven’t been online as much. And, we’ve made a few urgent visits due to older friends and family not doing as well as hoped. Although, other younger family members are improving their lives, or growing into adults step by step. So there’s this weird balance.

The garden is a source of delight — black headed vultures in the driveway eating their takeaway, hummingbird nest in one of the cedars, butterflies everywhere. A church nearby has created a monarch butterfly garden, and they’ve also been visiting the yard, along with the swallowtails.

Our two cats are sorting things out after 3 years (3 years, really?) of anger. The younger cat still has the crazies at specific times of day, and we just have to be prepared with a feather toy or a willow stick with leaves on it to distract her from scaling curtains and destroying the woodbound trunk in the living room.

Gearing up for spring

There’s snow on the ground, more forecast for later tonight. But… we have cut pussy willow branches in water, sitting on the kitchen counter (lovely fuzzy pussy “paws”)… and the Gardener says the forced bulbs should come up soonish. I’m looking at recipes for fastnachts and Jeck cookies. And there has been a little bit of prep for Valentine’s Day.

Once the sleet melts, maybe I’ll have a look outside again. But I’m uninterested in searching for anconites under the snow while sleet is still pelting down.

snow drops for hint of spring
The snowdrops aren’t here yet, but the yellow aconite is underneath sleet right now.

How about you? Are you in the mood for spring, or are you enjoying every second of winter sports and freezing ice in interesting shapes?

Advent Calendar Day 21

Day 21 is a visit to the Strathmore Sculpture gardens. It’s a lovely place to visit, especially before a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert at the Strathmore Arts Centre right outside of Washington, DC. I hope to go back and enjoy the inside of the museum associated with the garden, since they have juried art shows, and other art exhibits indoors. If you’re visiting DC without a car, both gardens, mansion and the music venue are easily reached by a Metro stop.

Bird bath by unknown artist. Strathmore Sculpture Gardens, Bethesda, Maryland.

We’re getting close to the final days of Advent. Yes, I didn’t provide art every day like planned, mostly because work got in the way. We’ll see how much I get scheduled before I have to focus on further house staightening to hide evidence of Christmas prep. Here is bonus footage from a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performance. (It shows tour footage from when they got to perform in the UK.)

Advent Calendar Day 20

Jade display from the Crow Museum of Asian Art

More information, and better pictures of the ewer that is on the right in the photo, here: Crow Museum of Asian Art. The ewer is a Qing Dynasty piece, made of Nephrite. Probably dates to the 19th century. The Crow Museum of Asian Art is an unexpected jewel in Dallas: perfect place to cool down on a blazing hot day. [Edited to fix advent day….]

Art Advent Calendar – 2

Modern Stained Glass Window, Kölner Dom

Modern stained glass, Koln DomPhoto of Southern Transept window in Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral). The Cathdral also has an Advent Calendar. You can access it here. The original window that was in the South Transept was destroyed during WWII. The modern window (reglazed in 2007) was based on a design by Gerhard Richter. If you want to learn more about it and see better photos of other windows from the cathedral, visit the Kölner Dom website.

 

Planning for Advent

We’re in the process of gearing up for our Christmas/Fall concert (this weekend), and hoping it will sound as good as last night’s dress rehearsal.

For the blog, I’ve decided to do a visual sweet treat for Advent. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make a genuine Advent calendar of art I’ve seen, but I can at least post a few photos of great or surprising art… or poetry quotes to brighten up December.

So I guess… watch this space. Hopefully I can get some things scheduled in advance. In particular, really great art that not everyone sees, because it’s on special exhibit.


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