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The air today was horrid muggy–like having a hot and sweaty hand clasped around your face. Disagreeable, very. But—FRIDAY! So, I left work a little early, to do some shopping and then consider whether a Pina Colada (SO 1970s!) or a Strawberry Daiquiri (SO 1980’s!) or a Dark and Stormy (SO 2016!) would be the best drink with which to celebrate the evening.

Some sad person decided that today would be a good day to jump in front of a train, and though I of course sympathize with her desperate grief and despair, I will own that one could wish that she had chosen a method that did not discommode thousands of commuters.
But how shameful of me to even think such an unsympathetic thought! Poor fellow human! Who, apparently, did not in fact succeed in her project of self-immolation.
So there’s that.

Also, it turns out that sitting in a well chilled train with a book in hand is not the worst way to pass some time on an oppressive summer afternoon.
So there’s that.
Anyway, I eventually arrived at the station, boarded the bus and made my way home. The sky was ominous with louring clouds–huge storm on the way! As soon as I got home I grabbed shopping list and drove off in haste to grocery store, to get shopping done before apocalypse.
A flash lit up the car dashboard! Was it lightning, announcing the deadly storm?
No, it was that DAMN TRAFFIC CAMERA.
Sigh. Can’t win for losing.
But here is the good thing about today: it is my dear sister-in-law’s birthday! So, Happy Birthday Claire!

May the traffic cameras never see your car and may the rain clouds miss your celebration!

PS. In case you’re wondering, the pina colada won the coveted Which Drink Is Most Lovesome Prize.

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While topping up the litter box I happened to notice some text on the bag: Instructions. ‘Cleaning out Solid Waste and Clumps every day, proper disposing of, blah blah blah’–and— ‘WASH OUT LITTER BOX ONCE A WEEK WITH SOAP AND WATER’.
Well, knock me down with a feather.
You know how many times I’ve washed out a litter box with soap and water?
That would be…. NEVER.
Image result for victorian cleaning ladies
In related news, you are probably wondering how often I clean my coffee machine–twice yearly, monthly…eh?
Well, NEVER is once again the winner over here in Bethesda.
I often think about doing it though, so there is that.

Emptying and cleaning the fridge?
Ah. NEVER is clearly on a winning streak here.

Still, I make the bed every day, so I think I get points for that.

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New neighbors

I looked out into the yard–and there was a raccoon looking back at me. No– not looking at me–looking at her 3 babies who were trotting towards her, along the garden path right under my window. I RUSHED to get the phone, but too late, they had all gone when I returned.

Bertie indicated that he would like to go out and welcome these interesting new neighbors, but I forbade it.
Image result for raccoon
Because, rabies.
Also because I am cruel to cats, or at least, that is what Bertie says.

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Allan and Rebecca graciously invited me to take part the charming Washington Grove July 4 festivities–how grand to attend this splendid patriotic event! We assembled in the park, the band marched in and took their places–then came the Raising of the Flag, The Musket Volley Salute, a stirring rendition of O Say Can You See, and then The Parade. After all the excitement, we recuperated on Allan’s elegant back porch, and Allan and Rebecca served up a delicious lunch.
I chatted with one of their neighbors, also a new grandmother. We engaged in Granny PhotoBragging. She showed me a pic of her grandson eating ice cream, and I said my grandson is not allowed sugary foods.
Allan sagely murmured, “ah, the Malvolio Diet'” When questioned he explained: “No more cakes and ale.”

Ha HA! Such a wag!

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Netflix sent me the next movie in my queue–The Mill on the Floss, which I contemplated without any great enthusiasm–yes, yes, love George Eliot, but really, these passionate Victorians, one loses patience with them. However, time passed and I eventually peeled off its red robe and set it onto the little DVD turntable.
BUT–mais qu’est-ce c’est? EH? Here was a whole lot of medieval imagery–Madonnas, peasants, and Rutger Hauer in robes and a black toque.
Where were Tom and Maggie Tulliver?
This was a movie called the Mill AND THE CROSS, a very different movie indeed. I sat bemused. This was not at all what I expected.
Though it was, it turned out, a very interesting movie indeed: a brilliant bringing to life of Breugal’s painting, The Way to Calgary. Really, like being inside the painting, with the magical scenery, odd stormy skies, and horsemen riding over the green fields dressed in bright red tunics.

The details of life in the 1500’s seemed very well observed to me, and how powerful the vision of the man crowned with thorns, staggering under the weight of the cross he dragged–the anguish of his mother, the dumb sorrow of the peasants. Moving, very.
However–NOT, as I said, quite the entertainment I had expected.

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This morning there looked to be standing room only in the train as it surged into the station, so I darted towards the end of the train, where seats are often available when all the other cars are crammed end to end–and found a seat! Hurrah!
Which was such a blessing, as the train abruptly stopped in a dark tunnel enroute, and stayed there for half an hour. Half an hour is nothing much when you are seated comfortably–as I was–with a charming book to read–as I did.
NOT the case for hundreds of other people, who promptly took to Twitter to vent their rage and frustration. They had PLENTY of time to choose the most venomous language and the most apropos images.

Image result for sloth crossing road
“Tuesday morning commute on the Redline”

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Ear Worm for you

Having made the mistake of listening to old folk songs, I now find that my brain can’t stop singing Four Rode By. Please click on this link so that you too can become infected with this grand song!
Four rode by,
Rode through here,
Three Mclean boys and that wild Alex Hare.

Alex HARE– heavens, perhaps a long lost great great great uncle!
Who did no credit to the family, however. Hanged.

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