June 13th, 2021

storyteller doll

I Also (Still) Do/Did Things

Now that I’ve gotten through what I intended on my DC guide, I can do some catching up. I’ll have other posts to write, too - one on the May prompts and one on my trip to Philadelphia last week. But I am traveling again this week (and next week) so it may take a little while.

Two Local Art Installations: A couple of weeks ago, I went with a friend to see two local art installations. Prismatic was at Ballston Quarter (a shopping mall in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington) and consisted of a number of colored prisms. We thought there was supposed to be a way of turning them and maybe there was supposed to be music, but we couldn’t get those aspects to work. It was pretty enough, but not very exciting. From there, we went to Georgetown, where we had dinner at Tony and Joe’s at Washington Harbor, followed by a steep uphill walk to see an installation called Glow. My back was aching and the walk was difficult, as a result. Anyway, there were 5 light sculptures to see. My favorite one was called Madness Method, where you had to stand in a marked circle to make a bunch of flickering lights converge. Overall, I was disappointed in both installations, but I’m glad I went to see them.

Cookout: My chavurah had a cookout on Memorial Day. I brought Asian cole slaw, which was successful. Overall, it was a nice afternoon, of good food and good conversation. There was also just the right amount of cicadas - enough to see a few, but not so many to drown everything out.

Other Recent Cooking: I finally made the Polish pickle soup recipe I had heard about a while back. The combination of potatoes, onions, sour cream, and pickles had sounded somewhat weird and, alas, it was, indeed, too weird for me. I won’t be making that again.

Viva Vienna: This is an annual festival in downtown Vienna on Memorial Day weekend. There were some crafts vendors and some politicians (e.g. my delegate to the state legislature), but mostly a lot of home improvement companies, which aren’t relevant to a condo dweller. I did buy a couple of cheap masks and a selection of nut snacks from Boso Kitchens. I’ve now sampled all of the latter and the definite winner was the honey chipotle peanuts.

BaltiCon: This science fiction convention was again on-line (and free), so I went to a few talks, mostly from their history and folklore track. There was a panel on Traditional Storytelling and Genre Fiction, which is pretty much right up my alley. Anne E.G. Nydam had an interesting presentation on bestiaries, including her own book. I was quite amused by one of her fantastic beasts - the umbrellaphant whose ears are like umbrellas and provide protection from the rain for other creatures. There was a panel on Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy, that was worth listening to, but didn’t really tell me about any books I hadn’t already heard of. One of the best presentations was a short film called “Space Torah,” about astronaut Jeff Hoffman who brought a small Torah scroll on the space shuttle and read from it while in orbit on Shabbat. (There was a Q&A with him a few days later, which I’d intended to go to, but I got sucked into something else.) Finally, there was a talk on The Heroine’s Journey, which was interesting, but was too short to really cover the material. I should also note that three of these presentations included Valerie Frankel and I need to seek out some of her work.

Annoyances: I have gotten repeated phone calls from a charity solicitor for some National Police Association, which i almost certainly a scam. They are all from the same guy, who calls himself Lee. I finally was annoyed enough, that I cussed him out. I then took a nap and had a dream in which he called me and shouted, “I can’t believe what you did.” Not only is this scammer invading my phone, but he is invading my dreams.

Speaking of Telephones: My land line rang at 8:30 in the morning last Saturday. I was irritated at a call that early - until I answered and it turned out to be the gentleman with whom I conducted the world’s longest running brief meaningless fling. He lives in London and thinks of me as getting up early, so it was okay for him to call at that hour. (Aside from which, I still pretty much melt at his voice.) Anyway, we had a nice conversation about the state of the world. He was a bit surprised at how much things have been opening up for me. Apparently, everything is still much more locked down in London.

Mammogram: I finally had my mammogram a week ago Thursday. (It had been delayed because you are supposed to wait at least 6 weeks after your second COVID vaccination, due to potential lymph node swelling). The interesting thing is that I got the results back in less than an hour! No signs of any issues.

An Evening With Rockwell: I went to an event at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial on Thursday night with a couple of friends. The focus was on a drawing by Norman Rockwell, which was used to cast part of a monument in New Hampshire. There was time to look around at current exhibits in the memorial, followed by a brief talk and slide show. They also served drinks (including wine) and had snack boxes (either fruit and cheese or a Mediterranean selection). Overall, it was a nice evening out and it was nice to see the people I went with.

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