1. I eased into the morning with some coffee and writing. I enjoyed the gift Molly and Hiram gave me -- they have the Corgis at their house -- so I enjoyed the quiet and thought about what to do for the day. Last October, while on a doctor visit, I'd made a note to one day eat at the Tastee Diner in Bethesda and this morning I discovered there's a Tastee Diner in Silver Spring. The parking gods smiled on me and granted me free street parking across the the street from the diner and I strolled in, sat down, and ordered corned beef hash, two eggs up, biscuits, and a side of grits with coffee. The breakfast was filling and relaxing; I wish the hash had been homemade, but I like it out of the can, so that was fine. The biscuits and grits were really good.
2. The American Film Institute Silver Theater and Cultural Center is only a five minute walk from the Tastee Diner, so I sauntered on over, hoping to see Brooklyn, but my timing was off, so I bought a ticket for The Danish Girl. I knew almost nothing about the movie, my favorite way to see a film. Two primary things happened as I watched the movie. First, I became emotionally absorbed by the story. Whether this movie was politically problematic or courageous (and I'm sure I'll find out what others think, in time), the political content went right by me. I cared about these characters. I felt pain, admiration, confusion, fear, anxiety, happiness, among other feelings, as the story developed. Secondly, the movie's visual beauty riveted me. Lili was born Einar and Einar was an accomplished landscape painter and the movie's cinematography itself was often in the style of gorgeous paintings, as if Einar himself were the director of photography. But, sometimes, it was as if Gerda, a portrait artist, took over the movie's photography with its many stunning frames of costumes and faces, of Einar becoming Lili and of Gerda's devotion to her. After I listened to the music playing over the credits, I took a walk in downtown Silver Spring, let the movie sink in, and realized that while I thought I might go to two movies on my birthday, I didn't want another movie crowding in on this one.
3. I drove into Washington, D.C. and made my way to D C Brau and enjoyed a sampler each of Public Pale Ale, Corruption IPA, and Alpha Domina Mellis 2IPA. I sat quietly and rocked out within myself to the slash metal music playing at a pleasant volume and enjoyed how much people around me were enjoying each other, whether talking or playing Cards Against Humanity. I went home, sat for a bit, and then went to the East Asian Bistro for a cup of won ton soup and a plate of ginger shrimp with mixed vegetables and sticky rice. I ordered it as a way of participating in the shrimp cook-off Christy was hosting at her house for her and Everett, Mom, and the Roberts family in Kellogg.