One of my cats (Alex) was entirely hidden within the depths of a shoebox-size Priority Mail box. He has just now emerged, and his sister Erin has vanished inside.
No cat photos because I don't have an X-Ray camera.
Whether you need to carve out a bedroom from a studio apartment, or a foyer from a living room, or just a little private space anywhere, these room dividers will get the job done. Some are more opaque, for when privacy is a primary concern; others let a bit more light through, for when the suggestion of a separation is enough. Check out our top 10 collection.
I just finished registering and paying for the Friday evening class (for which wildpear and seolh were already registered), so I guess it's now a definite Thing That Will Be Happening. Time to spend the next week and a half trying to get back in the habit of stretching regularly. >.>
There was some uncertainty before I successfully got registered. The online registration process was straightforward for the trial class, but two things happened almost simultaneously re: the actual class. 1) I got a follow-up email from the studio saying they hoped I'd enjoyed the trial class and listing the beginner timeslots that still had openings...a list which did not include the one I wanted (AKA the one my friends were already registered for, not to mention being the only one that could conceivably work with Casual Job going on), and 2) the online class schedule/registration form showed "(3 Reserved, 5 Open)", but didn't have a "sign up now" button (which some others did). TBH, I still have NO clue what's going on there, but after exchanging some emails with the studio, we established that the class did have openings, and now I've given them money, so I should be good to go.
As for the actual trial class on Friday, ( it could get long, and involves fitness talk, so I'll put it under a cut )
Name: Timothy Kolstad
Location: San Jose, California
Size: 1,888 square feet
Years lived in: 27 years (on and off); Owned for 2 years
Timothy never expected he'd end up back in San Jose living in his childhood home. He inherited the house two years ago, and since then, he's worked hard to remodel the space and make it his own, which he says hasn't been an easy task on a limited budget. "The house has always been full, so to be living here on my own is bizarre," he says. "Nobody expects to live in the home they grew up in as an adult, so making it 'my own' has been a big part of the process.
It’s late summer and the garden keeps giving. This afternoon I picked a basketful of cucumbers: Russian Brown, English Telegraph, and lemon cukes. The Russian Browns are nice in that, like the lemons, they don’t get bitter. When they’re ripe, the skin turns rich brown and sometimes gets crackles. We will eat 1 or 2 per bowl of salad. (you can see a little container with purslane from the garden at the upper left.)
Then there are the pear trees. One is a Comice, the other a variety we haven’t been able to identify. It’s a little like an Asian pear but tastes terrible raw. When cooked, however, it is flavorful and intensely sweet.
I picked a couple of baskets, including bird-pecked ones, chopped and seasoned them with cinnamon, cooked them until just tender, and canned them in quart jars. I brought some extra to a gathering at the home of a friend, where they were much enjoyed. Some years I will slice and dry them, too — sweet as candy — but I still have some left from last year.
This process will go on for a while, many quarts’ worth, as the “Asian pear” tree bears heavily. I’ll refrigerate the Comice pears to eat fresh.
Then there are 2 apple trees…but those are fine when chopped, tossed with a little sugar and ascorbic acid, and popped into ziplock bags and the freezer. They are slightly spongey that way but go wonderfully in oatmeal, where the cooking softens the texture just right.
On Friday, people around the world transformed parking spots into tiny, temporary parks. The goal of Park(ing) Day is to draw attention to the need for more public spaces and generate debate around how that public space is allocated. The event began with a San Francisco art studio back in 2005, and has since grown into a global phenomenon.
Despite a bit of confusion from an MPD permit reviewer, Park(ing) Day 2017 was a success! We rounded up a few of our favorite shots of this year's event from the GGWash Flickr pool and Twitter for you to enjoy:
Prior to welcoming home a new baby, many moms and dads were already parents to their adorable pet dogs. So when it came time to announce their pregnancy news, it made perfect sense to let the cuddly canines do the honors. Here are some of our favorites.
In the fifth episode of the second season of Person of Interest, an investigative reporter risks her life to get closer to the identity of HR’s boss. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Person of Interest.
I LOVE SO MUCH ABOUT THIS EPISODE, LET’S TALK ABOUT WHY.
Perpetrator or Victim
Still. STILL. This show is STILL finding new ways to twist our perception of who is a perpetrator or a victim within each of these cases. “Bury the Lede” provides us with something we’ve not seen: a perpetrator who is unknowingly leading someone to their death. At the center of this episode is Maxine Angelis, an investigative reporter who is rather ruthless in pursuing the truth. Well, even that is questioned by this script. What counts as the truth? Who is peddling it? Who benefits from the truth that’s being told?
And those are big questions for this show to ask, but it still plunges into the at-times bleak and harrowing world of HR and journalism. Given what we’d seen of HR in the past, it made sense that Maxine’s reporting had put her in the crosshairs of… well, someone. I never bought the theory that someone other than a member of HR was targeting her, but I also made the assumption that this was obvious. Her reporting style was over-the-top and cunning, so she’d made a ton of enemies over the years. Seriously, look how she treated one of the mayoral candidates! So we get the sense early on that Maxine is truly fearless, at least in the sense that she’s willing to expose the seedy underbelly of modern politics, well aware that she’s taking a risk in doing so.
But the tragic power of “Bury the Lede” is in the way it examines complicity. Maxine gets an anonymous tip about the real identity of the boss of HR, and unfortunately, her confirmation bias leads her to believe that the tip was real. After all, a guard at his property saw Christopher Zambrano arguing with Agent Donnelly of the FBI; another FBI confirmed that Zambrano was a suspect; Zambrano’s father was in the mob; and Zambrano himself was furious at the very suggestion that he was the head of HR. Thus, Maxine connected the dots – the ones that the real boss of HR wanted her to connect – and wrote a story naming him as the lead suspect. In doing so, however, she became complicit. She took the crosshairs off herself and placed them on Zambrano, and less than a day later, he was dead, killed by members of a cartel who despised HR.
It’s one hell of a twist, and I didn’t expect it because shows like this are all about saving the innocent. But this isn’t even the first time that Reese and Finch were too late! THIS SHOW DOESN’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT US AND MAKING US FEEL GOOD AT EVERY TURN. While that may be deeply uncomfortable, it’s also good storytelling. The show doesn’t ignore the fallout from Maxine’s actions, and it doesn’t exonerate her from her poor reporting. One of the things I love about this is that the solution to Maxine’s guilt isn’t wallowing or absolving her of responsibility because she simply didn’t know. It’s action. With Reese tailing her, she does what she can to prove that Zambrano was innocent and implicate the real members of HR in the process. SHE ACTIVELY WORKS TO REPAIR SOME OF THE DAMAGE SHE HAS DONE. That is better than feeling guilty or trying to dodge accountability, and I respect it a lot.
I’m also coming to admire that Person of Interest seems willing to toy with itself and its very serious nature. Look, this is an unnerving show by default because it addresses things like state surveillance and state violence openly and critically. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but it’s certainly doing a lot more than most other fictional narratives are. That means that there are moments where this show is dark. Where I’m consumed by the existential dread of our own universe. Where this show isn’t escapist, but a bitter, horrifying mirror image of our world. So I love that there are moments where the writers take a step back and comment on the sheer absurdity of this arrangement. There’s a lot of humor and entertainment taken from the delicate nature of this case, namely in that this is the first time where John cannot intervene directly. Maxine has been trying to track down the truth of The Man in the Suit, so he can’t arouse her suspicion.
So Finch’s solution is to alter the algorithm on a dating website so that it serves up Reese’s profile, and IT IS 100% COMEDY GOLD. ALSO: FINCH TAKES IT SO SERIOUSLY, AND I LOVE THIS ABOUT HIM. He prepared study notes! The profile was very detailed and specific!!! BEAR FEATURED PROMINENTLY!!! Oh my god, please tell me there was intensely detailed fanfic written of Finch constructing Reese’s profile. Wait, there’s got to be fanfiction of Finch’s scene where he is LITERALLY in Reese’s closet. Like??? Closet full of weapons??? THE FIC IS WRITING ITSELF.
Can I just state once more that I hate Simmons? Just unequivocally hate him? Cool. It helps distract me from the fact that the real head of HR was totally on screen right before I said, on video, that I didn’t think we’d met them. And that he quite literally threatened Maxine and said he was throwing her under the bus, yet I didn’t understand the full meaning of that. I’m glad Clarke Peters is on this show because he’s such an incredible talent, and HIS CHARACTER IS THE ACTUAL BOSS. So Donnelly was right in assuming that the head of HR was not in the NYPD. Except that not one person has suspected the real culprit!
Will Fusco find out the truth? I’m worried, y’all. Simmons and HR are pulling him away from Reese, Finch, and Carter, and with his son’s life on the line, it’s possible he may continue to sabotage these cases. I’M SCARED.
The video for “Bury the Lede” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff
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THERAPY THROUGH BRITISH POLICE PROCEDURALS
Since The Email, I have been self-therapying with British police procedurals which, to be fair, I love anyhow. I've just been binging them and D has been watching with me. I have rated them in order of how much I want to visit the country they are set in which happens to be in keeping with how much I love them. I'm not including Broadchurch since my deep love for it goes without saying:
1. Shetland- I love this SO MUCH. The countryside looks so lush and green and I love Jimmy Perez and Tosh the best. I continue to be highly amused at his Spanish surname and how totally plausible it is because Spaniards are often blond and fair. I am a season behind because the new one isn't on Netflix until it is complete but I can't wait!
2. Wallander- HOW did I not know Fetus!Tom Hiddleston was on this?? HOW?? You are all FIRED! Also, I know this is based on the Swedish mystery series, ok? Kenneth Branagh is a Brit, as are all the cast. Everything is superb on this: acting, cinematography, writing. Branagh is so BROKEN in this, like, all the time, and all you want to do is give him soup and tell him to sleep.
3. Hinterland- Of all of them this is absolutely the darkest, both literally and symbolically. It pushes the gore factor considerably in crime scenes and gunshot scenes compared to the others. Very noir, but really well done, too. Another broken DCI with secrets and baggage skillfully performed by Richard Harrington, who played Captain Blamey on Poldark, where he looked 65 years old in his wig and uniform. Fantastic cast, all of them.
4. Midsomer Murders- This is the oldest series and it is A DELIGHT. We are only on the second season and enjoying it utterly. Much lighter fare and a breath of fresh air every time. It's also such fun to play spot-the actor. We've already seen a young Emily Mortimer and Elizabeth Spriggs of Sense and Sensibility and Harry Potter fame.
* D has been pre-diagnosed with gastroparesis, which basically means her stomach does not work right. We are seeing other specialists because her dr thinks there might be another condition also at play and wants to at least rule it out. It is such a relief to find a medical professional that listens and believes you, I can't tell you. Dr. Behazin in Houston and her staff are the BEST.
* I plan to visit my folks early next month because it has been way too long. My mom is not doing well being my dad's caretaker since she is not, and has never been, the best nurturing sort. Not being mean; she'd say the same. However, she is also 77 herself, so I know her health is not the best, either.
* I have not read anything in so long it is sad.
* Except for kid's graphic novels for my committee. My faves so far are
- Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag
- Princess Princess Ever After by Katie 'Neill
- Fish Girl by David Wiesner and Donna Jo Napoli
- Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton
- Real Frends by Shannon Hale
Okay, gente. I'ma go be productive.
I hope everyone is doing well.
Thanks for letting me use this as a space to process. It really does help. :-)
Fairfax County is gaining a number of beautifully-designed public places along the Silver Line, but not enough attention has been paid to Reston Station.
Phase One of Metro's Silver Line opened in 2014 and four new stations have popped up in Tysons Corner. A fifth has opened in Reston near Wiehle Avenue called Wiehle-Reston East, which for the moment marks the end of the Silver Line. (Phase Two will stretch the track to Dulles Airport and into Loudoun County.) Much of the Silver Line buzz tends to be about Tysons Corner and the ongoing efforts to transform the area into a true downtown for Fairfax County. However, though not as well known or publicized, there are some big changes afoot in Reston as well, notably the Reston Station development.
"Reston Station" doesn't actually refer to a train station (although there is a metro stop called Reston Town Center opening soon) but rather to a number of new buildings recently constructed near the Wiehle-Reston East stop. Fairfax County worked with the Station's developers, Comstock, to build a plaza that connects the new buildings to the metro stop. Amenities also include parking, the county's first secured bike room, a bus loop, and a kiss and ride.
The Plaza, located on the roof of the bus loop and bike room, is an exciting new public space. The area is inviting and easy to navigate despite the train station being in the middle of a highway. Small shops–including bakeries, booksellers, and home wares vendors–line the main walkway, inviting travelers to linger and browse rather than rush to their next destination. A nearby outdoor concert stage includes plenty of space for families to spread out.
The surrounding buildings (including one designed by renowned architect Helmut Jahn) help the plaza feel like an outdoor room, an important feature of many great urban squares. Walking out from the bridge over the highway into the plaza makes you feel like you are not just getting off the train, but are actually arriving somewhere. It's a genuinely enjoyable place to spend time while waiting for the bus.
The site also includes a Capital Bikeshare station, part of Reston's new network. The station is close to the W&OD Trail, providing a convenient way to pedal to places such as Reston Town Center, whose own Silver Line station opens as a part of Phase Two.
Local restaurant chain Founding Farmers is slated to open a location on the plaza later this year, which will likely attract even more people to the area.
The plaza at Reston Station isn't the only new public space on the Silver Line. In 2014 GGWash's Dan Malouff wrote about the new plaza outside of Tysons Corner Mall. That plaza is also elevated to be at the same level as the Tysons Metro Station (elevated above Route 123). Now that space become a signature feature in an area of Fairfax County that has its sights on becoming a vibrant and truly urban place.
With its inviting design and user-friendly features, Reston Station gives the plaza at Tysons a run for its money when it comes to public space along the Silver Line. As more development opens along the line, it's important that its public amenities help transform the area from a bunch of new buildings into real communities tied together by transit.
The original version of this post misstated the official names of Wiehle-Reston East and Reston Town Center. It has been updated.
Top image: Plaza out into Reston station. This and all the pictures were taken around 10:00 AM on a Thursday. Image by the author.
It's challenge time!
Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.
Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!
Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!
Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Albus Severus Potter/Scorpius Malfoy, James Sirius Potter.
Challenge: Written for hp_nextgen100/hp_nextgen100/hp_nextgen100's prompt # 126: Back to School.
Length: 100 x 2
Warnings: Lame title is lame? :P, innuendo.
Beta(s): sevfan and emynn.
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.
( Back to School )
As a design lover, Anthropologie is hands down one of the the best places to window shop, browse and discover. There's something inspirational and beautiful to see in every corner of the store, and half the time, it's not even merchandise but Anthropologie's expert propping, styling and display pieces. I don't know about you, but whenever I'm in an Anthropologie, I get a "I never want to leave this place" feeling.