Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 13 years ago, on May 26, 2007.

I was hosting a Memorial Day barbeque with the usual folks that also enjoyed a good poker game: Chris, Kathy, her brother, Jeff, Ben, Anna, Rosie, Jason, James, and Jack. Not pictured is Diana, who is off-camera holding a 7-week old Ella while Anna plays.

This party evidently took place before craft beer was a thing, as all there was to drink was Yuengling and Corona. Also, I came in first place for the first time ever!

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Monday, May 25, 2020

Review Day: Quarantine Shopping Experiences

Safeway on Sterling Boulevard:
Constantly out of stock on staples like milk, eggs, and meats. No interesting beers anymore. Great fresh bagels. Produce may have been scooped out of a Medieval midden. Most employees wearing a mask, half of patrons.

Final Grade: D

Giant on Dranesville Road:
Great fruit and vegetables. Sporadic availability of nice-to-haves like disinfectant wipes, yeast, and ribeye. Everyone in masks.

Final Grade: A

Costco on Route 7:
More people than expected, not as many as there could have been. Everyone in a mask but most patrons still oblivious to surroundings. Everything in stock but toilet paper. Worth it for a once-a-month trip.

Final Grade: B

Chuy's at Cascades:
Online ordering and well-oiled curbside operation. Food tastes great at home.

Final Grade: A

Sweetwater Tavern on Route 7:
Excellent ordering and curbside operation. $2 to-go pints. Delicious food that stays good after travel (other than fries, which get a little soggy). Slightly pricey.

Final Grade: A

Joe's Pizzaria on Sterling Boulevard:
Delicious comfort food and the best pizzas overall. Super fast, safe delivery.

Final Grade: B

Fireworks Pizza at Cascades:
We love this place in-person and really want to support them, but the pizza was small, cold, and disappointing by the time we got home.

Final Grade: D

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Friday, May 22, 2020

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Neotheater by AJR:
AJR and The Fratellis have been my quarantine jams for the past month or so. This album isn't as catchy as The Click, but it has more interesting orchestrations and use of samples. 100 Bad Days is a pretty representative track off the album.

Final Grade: B+

Upload, Season One:
This show about a world where you can upload your consciousness after death to live forever is impossible to categorize -- it's like The Good Place meets Black Mirror meets that awful Matt Damon movie, Downsized. It's more of a drama with comedy elements, with very little in common with the creator's previous shows (The Office and Parks and Recreation). Once you get used to the uneven tone and accept what it is, you'll be rewarded with decent character development and a few surprises. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B

Terminator: Dark Fate:
The sixth movie in the franchise (yet only the third blessed by James Cameron) is an unnecessary, uneven sequel. It's fun enough, but mixes over-CGI'd action scenes with obligatory, overlong character development scenes. It doesn't bring enough new story to the table, and the new villain is no more threatening or interesting than any previous villain.

Final Grade: B-

Undone, Season One:
This animated show features an unlikable protagonist who begins experiencing time differently after a car crash, exploring regrets, trauma, and mental illness. We got through 4 of 8 half-hour episodes before stopping -- in spite of the presence of Bob Odenkirk essentially playing a ghost version of Bob Odenkirk, there wasn't enough reason to keep watching. The rotoscoped animation style was pretty neat, but also very distracting. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: Not Graded

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken two years ago today, on May 20, 2018.

The AT from Route 7 to Bear's Den is normally an easy, no-drama affair. We made the mistake of trying it after a solid week's worth of rain which raised humidity levels up to 120% and converted most of the trail into interminable mudslides. Hiking in damp shoes is my least favourite activity.

Maia was 10 months old and enjoyed her first trip in the kid backpack, as well as the view (and milk break) at the top.

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Monday, May 18, 2020

Weekend Wrap-up

On Saturday morning, we had a physically-distanced visit with Rebecca's parents.

In the afternoon, Maia attended the virtual birthday party for her classmate, Morgan, whose parents dropped off a party favor bag in advance. Afterwards, we had artisanal sandwiches with fried eggs on top.

On Sunday, we took a walk in Claude Moore Park.

How was your weekend?

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