Saturday, January 20, 2018

Still Life with Robin: January 20 Is a Special Day

Photo by Eva K.
by Peggy Robin

So much happening today. There’s the Women’s March on Washington (11 AM rally followed by the actual March to the White House at 1). And the start of the government shut-down (or is going to be un-shut by a last-minute deal?) And on a more local level, there’s the impending Johnson’s Garden Center shut-down. Or will there be a rescue here too? And then there’s a warming trend expected to bring balmy weather, so soon after the snow. Who knows? There could even be Christmas tree pickups today, too.

With all these important things going on (or not!), it's easy to lose sight of a special day that happens once a year – though you may not have celebrated it before. Well, now you know: It’s National Cheese Lovers Day! And yes, it’s a real thing -- not something cooked up by the Dairy Lobby. (Do people call that lobby “Big Cheese”? I wonder….) This is a day on the calendar of notable days, and you can google it if you don’t believe me. Or just go to: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-cheese-lovers-day-january-20/

But where can you celebrate it? I tried to google restaurants and cheese shops in this area that are hosting National Cheese Lovers Day events, and came up with a nice free cheese sampling party at Whole Foods….but not here. It’s  in Chattanooga, Tennessee: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/store/event/national-cheese-lovers-day-tasting-event

I tried again but put “Washington, DC” up front in the search box. Well, that got me a little closer, I guess, with a hit in NC, but it’s still not DC. It’s this wine and cheese pairing event at Southern Season in Chapel Hill, North Carolina: https://www.visitchapelhill.org/event/national-cheese-lovers-day-celebration/13635/. If the third time’s the charm – then I offer up a dozen fine cheesemongers who recognize the importance of National Cheese Lovers Day….but every single last one of them is in The Big Apple. Go to http://donyc.com/p/where-to-celebrate-national-cheese-day to count all twelve.

If there’s a place here in DC hosting an official National Cheese Lovers Day party, I couldn’t find it. But that doesn’t mean we still can’t enjoy this day in our own cheesy way. Break out your gouda, your cheddar, your chevre, whatever you happen to have on hand, and have the happiest NCLD in DC!
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column

Statue of Liberty by J2M4W
(Creative Commons)
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv
www.cleveland-park.com    

Friday, January 19 from 7 - 9 PM, What Feminism Looks Like * Nasty Women DC Art Reception & Auction - a benefit for Planned Parenthood. Intersectional feminism is the current terminology that expresses the empowerment of women to effect change across a diverse range of issues: women’s health, racial and gendered violence, equality under the law, poverty, immigration and refugee rights, environmental protections, rights of indigenous communities, etc. It recognizes that true and effective change in the global sphere results from women’s organizing, joining all minority groups and inclusive of men in these efforts. An all woman exhibition, the artists included in What Feminism Looks Like have contributed works that address the range of these issues in various media. Hosted by Art Watch DC at DC Arts Center, 2438 18th St NW. More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/593629614309360; http://nastywomenexhibition.org/; https://dcartscenter.org/gallery/upcoming/ 

Saturday, January 20 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Palisades Library Grand Opening. Join Mayor Bowser, DC Public Library executive director Richard Reyes-Gavilan and other elected officials as we cut the ribbon on the modernized Palisades Library. Immediately following the ribbon cutting, join us for story time, building tours and other special programs. Special Know-Your-Neighborhood Document Scanning -- Do you have memories of the Palisades neighborhood you would like to preserve? Bring photos and documents to be digitized. Up to 8 1/2 x 11. The Palisades Library is at 4901 V Street NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/59076  

Saturday, January 20 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Library Amnesty International Day. This is the day you can return any overdue library book to any library in the entire world and not have to pay the fine. Unload your guilt and at the same time unload those battered, plastic-covered books you've hidden away all these years out of fear and shame and anxiety about high fines. It doesn’t matter if you checked out the book in Palau and are returning it to the reopened Palisades Library in DC...or Denmark...or Denver. Library Amnesty Days are a real thing (like this one: http://bit.ly/2DiB1Az) but today’s event just happens to be our Weekly Fake Event.

Saturday, January 20 starting at 11 AM, Women’s March on Washington 2018. One year later, women and allies will once again take to the streets of the nation’s capitol to make a powerful statement to the current administration and the rest of the world. In a follow-up to the largest demonstration in US history, people from across the country will meet at the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial at 11 AM for a rally showcasing several speakers followed by a march on the White House. More info: www.MarchDC.com 

Saturday January 20 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Pop-Up Forts - A Family Activity at the National Building Museum. Construct an awe-inspiring fort from newspapers. Find out how a triangle’s strong shape can brace your structure and keep your fort standing longer. Create tetrahedral caverns small enough for one or big enough for your entire clan. Little ones can explore how to build forts all year round, even in the cold winter months, during a story time with Megan Wagner Lloyd, author of children's book, Fort Building Time. Free, drop in. All ages. The National Building Museum is at 401 F Street NW. More info: http://go.nbm.org/site/Calendar/1791803673?view=Detail&id=122817 

Saturday, January 20 at 2 PM, Kids Club: Paper Airplanes. Explore the science of flight in a fun way. Learn how to construct several kinds of paper airplanes, including the sonic dart, hammerhead, super plane, silent huntress and helicopter. Add decorations to make them unique. Then we'll try flying them. Which ones fly the farthest? Which ones fly for the longest duration of time? Recommended for children ages 3-12 (ages 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult). Free. At the Chevy Chase Public Library, 5625 Connecticut Avenue NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/59137 

Sunday, January 21 at 2 PM, Staged Reading for International Women's Voices Festival. The Guillotine Theatre in partnership with the Georgetown Branch of the DC Public library presents a staged reading of Lysistrata in Jerusalem. Many of the Washington, DC region’s professional theaters will join together to present the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Theaters and theater-makers around the globe are invited to present public or private readings of unproduced works by women playwrights in celebration of the first anniversary of the worldwide Women’s Marches. Free. At Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R Street NW. More info: https://www.dclibrary.org/node/59129 

Monday, January 22 at 12 noon, Lecture: Stevens School and School Segregation in our Nation’s Capital, by Ralph Buglass, independent scholar. The history of Thaddeus Stevens School, built for African American students 150 years ago, provides insight into the segregated past of DC public schools up until the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. Free; no reservations required. At the George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum, 701 21st Street NW, https://museum.gwu.edu/school-segregation 

Tuesday, January 23 at 6:30 PM, Out There: The Self-Created Artist in DC. A musical performance from multi-instrumentalist Andrew White, who will introduce a panel discussion on the experimental and self-created artist in the District. Panelists will talk about the unique spaces they occupy and perspectives they share—from being a musician, a visual artist, a photographer, operating a venue to publishing a zine on defunct artist-run spaces. Panelists include: Andrew White; Bill Warrell; Cynthia Connolly; Blair Murphy; Marc Minsker, moderator. Free. At  the Goethe-Institut Washington at 1990 K St. NW (enter via 20th St. between Eye & K St. NW)  Presented by Library Express Take-Out. Free, for all ages, at an accessible venue. https://www.dclibrary.org/node/58999 

Wednesday, January 24  from 6 - 9 PM, Arts and Drafts. Cleaning out your closet for the new year? Go green in 2018! Bring your worn clothing to the George Washington Museum and Textile Museum,and we’ll help you repurpose it into an artful collage. Enjoy solar-powered beer from Atlas Brew Works and snacks as you craft, then head to the galleries for pop-up talks featuring: Creative ways to turn the food in your fridge into vibrant dyes; An inside look at the challenges of installing The Box Project: Uncommon Threads exhibition; An introduction to the work of Box Project artist Ai Kijima, who turns flea market finds into fine art collages. Bring as many clothes as you would like. All unused items in good condition will be donated to Martha’s Table. Fee: $10 - museum members and GW students, faculty, and staff; $15 - general public (includes snacks, two drinks, and craft supplies). Must be 21 or older to attend and present a valid ID. The GW Museum and Textile Museum is at 701 21st Street, NW. Register here: http://connect.gwu.edu/site/Calendar?id=115795&view=Detail 

Thursday, January 25 from 10 - 11:30 AM, 65 Million and Counting - a lecture by Melanie Nezer, presented by the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning (OLLI). There are more refugees and displaced people in the world in 2018 than at any time in recorded history — including after World War II. Refugees have only three “durable solutions” — returning home, integrating into the country to which they have fled, or resettling in a safe third country. The US, traditionally the recipient country of the most refugees, has retreated from its leadership in helping refugees. Few refugees can return home or fully integrate where they are. Solutions seem remote. Melanie Nezer outlines the facts and the demanding road ahead. Melanie Nezer is senior vice president for HIAS, a venerable organization that serves refugees of all faiths and backgrounds. She previously served as HIAS' migration policy counsel and director of the employment visa program representing at-risk Jewish professionals and religious workers seeking to work in the US during crises in their home countries. Earlier, she was immigration policy director for the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and practiced criminal defense and immigration law in Miami. Free. In Room 601 of the AU Spring Valley Building, 4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW. Register on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-lecture-melanie-nezer-tickets-41243901620

Thursday, January 25 from 12 - 12:45 PM, Cooking Demonstration: Winter Pick-Me-Ups, with Adrienne Cook, Gardening and Cooking Writer, and Danielle Cook, MS, Nutritionist and Cooking Instructor. From teas, to broths, to soups and stews, there are so many ways to inject feel-good and do-good ingredients that help chase away the winter blahs. The Cook Sisters bring you ideas to liven up and power up ordinary foods and beverages in a one-of-a-kind program. Program repeats at 12:50. Free, no pre-registration required. In the Garden Court of the US Botanic Garden Conservatory, 100 Maryland Avenue, SW. More info: https://www.usbg.gov/events/2017/11/29/cooking-demonstration-winter-pick-me-ups-1   

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Don't Pick Up the Phone

Photo by X570
Public Domain (Creative Commons)
by Peggy Robin

So far I am doing fairly well at following my simple New Year’s resolution this year: Stop Picking Up the Phone. Why even make a resolution like that? Robocalls. Live phone solicitors. People who claim to be Microsoft tech support. Or the IRS. Or duct cleaning companies (well, they probably are, but I don’t do business with random strangers). I am, of course, on the Do No Call registry and have been since Day One. And I used to have Nomorobo but I gave it up out of concerns that it could be blocking calls that I actually did want to receive.

Just by coincidence (as I had been planning to post this since January 1st), the Washington Post has tackled this subject in an article in today’s Sunday Magazine explaining why there are more junk phone calls than ever, and why measures to block them have not really done the trick. I recommend it highly: http://wapo.st/2FDvPZl. But I’m not here to tell you about the technical challenge of blocking spam/scam calls. My object is to convey the emotional challenge of overcoming a lifetime of Pavlovian conditioning. When a phone rings, you pick up if you can. That’s how I was raised in the pre-answering machine era. Now, in this post-answering machine age, in the time of voice-mail-in-the-cloud, I am finally, slowly, and painfully re-training myself not to respond. I look at the caller ID and if I don’t recognize the number or don’t see a familiar name displayed….I must grit teeth and resist the urge to lift up the receiver of my land line. (Yes, I still have a land line…not sure why.) It's just the same for my cell phone. I must restrain myself from touching the green answer key.

The hard part is, when I see a 202 number on the caller ID screen followed by what I know to be a common prefix -- like 363 or 966. Once upon a time 363 meant Emerson-3, a neighborhood exchange. If I’m not mistaken (and I could be – it’s been so long), 966 was WOodley-6. Those prefixes were from before the time of ANC (All Number Calling). The scammers have found a way to display a someone’s legitimate local calling number, whose owner has no idea the number’s been spoofed and repurposed for fraudulent use; the call recipient may be tricked into thinking it’s a call from a neighbor whose number is unfamiliar but who could well be someone with a good reason to be calling.

That’s the sort of thing that flashes through my mind as I see a local number on the caller ID. As I’m about to reach for the phone, now I stop myself and recite three times: Do NOT Pick UP! Meanwhile every atom in my hand is itching to do so. It’s like I’m fighting an instinctual urge. All I know is, when the phone rings, you answer, you talk to whoever is there. Alexander Graham Bell is calling out to me from the Great Beyond: PICK UP, dammit, someone is waiting! It may even be someone making an expensive LONG DISTANCE call. Or even more compelling, some sort of emergency, and the unknown number could be from a hospital somewhere, someone trying to tell me something awful has happened. Or maybe something wonderful – it’s the Lottery Board just trying to make sure I collect the Mega-Millions I’ve won. It may take me a few seconds for my brain to dredge up the fact that hospital names DO show up on caller IDs these days. And to recall that the last time I actually bought a lottery ticket was….2011?  

A few more weeks of telling myself these calming truths, and I should be getting the hang of the non-answer response to the ring-ring stimulus. I supposed there may always be that little twinge somewhere in the back of my brain as a result of decades of imprinted behavior. But I am improving. This resolution has legs! At least, I’m doing better with it than I did with resolutions in years past, to cut out all junk food and say no to rich desserts! All those firmly made resolves were off the table by February 1. So call your heart out, scammers, and I will continue to practice the Zen of the Non-Answer.
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv on Saturdays or Sundays, depending on my procrastination level.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column

DC Library Event - Jan 16
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, January 12 at 11 AM, Tots and Toys Playdate. The Tenley-Friendship library hosts an informal, indoor playdate. Kids can play with toys, browse books, visit with friends and toddle. We'll set out toys to develop motor skills and books to encourage early literacy. For children ages birth to 3 with their parents or caregivers. Free. The Tenley-Frienship Library is at 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Go to https://www.dclibrary.org/node/51756 to see other Tots and Toys Playdates in the series.

Saturday, January 13 at 1 PM, “Tudor Place: America’s Story Lives Here.” Former Tudor Place Executive Director Leslie L. Buhler will discuss the nearly three centuries of history revealed in the stories of Georgetown's Tudor Place, a National Historic Landmark, through its people, architecture and contents. Free. In the Peabody Room of Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R Street NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/58990  

Saturday, January 12 from 1 - 5 PM, The 5th Annual Winter Ice Festival and Mega Block Ice Carving Competition in Leesburg, VA. Bundle up and join the FREE fun! See 8 world renowned ice carvers in action as they compete for prizes in this mega block competition. Stroll the boulevard and enjoy music, an iceless ice skating rink, plus warming stations and photo ops with the Washington Capitals Red Rockers and Slapshot. Take a picture by the larger than life Village at Leesburg signature sculpture in the Plaza and custom sculptures outside at Leesburg boutiques and restaurants. You can start watching the competition as early as 9 AM. Festival starts at 1 PM. In the Village at Leesburg, 1602 Village Market Blvd SE, http://bit.ly/2DjUUb1    

Saturday, January 12 from 1 - 3 PM, Watch Ice Carvers from a Warm Cozy Spot in Front of a Fireplace. This is the best ice-carving event ever, because you can stay toasty warm while watching sculptors work their icy magic in below-zero temperatures. How? By watching videos! Like this one: https://www.cbsnews.com/videos/the-art-of-ice-carving/ or this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGOiNgUdhTM or this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HToYXFxB4Ng. You don’t need tickets - you don’t even need to leave your comfy armchair - just sit at home and watch these videos on your laptop and while you're watching one, you will see suggestions for others popping up on a sidebar. How cool is that? Cool enough to be this week’s fake event!

Sunday, January 14 at 10:30 AM, “Sing for Freedom,” an old time Gospel Service and Sing-Along in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Folksinger and acoustic musician Diana Wagner will lead the singing, and acoustic musicians are welcome to come play (please arrive at 9:30 if you're bringing an instrument). Free. At Cleveland Park Congregational UCC, 3400 Lowell St. NW, www.cpcchurch.org  

Monday, January 15 at 9:30 AM, Grand Opening Party at the West End Library. Celebrate the opening of the new West End Library with a full day of special events, including: Story time and drop-in craft activity, 10 AM; Special performance from children's musician Mariana Irzani, 11 AM; 3D printing demonstrations, 10 AM - 3 PM; Know Your Neighborhood Document Scanning: Do you have memories of the West End neighborhood that you would like to preserve? Bring photos and documents related to the neighborhood to be digitized. Leave with a flash drive with up to 10 8’’ x 11’’ or smaller documents per person. Consider donating a digital copy to DC Public Library’s Special Collections - 10 AM - 3PM. Refreshments. Free. The West End Library is at 2301 L St. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/59016

Monday, January 15 starting at 10 AM, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Peace Walk. The Peace Walk is coordinated by the Coalition for Peace, a group of individuals and nonprofits dedicated to peace and positivity for the Washington DC metropolitan communities. Over a thousand ‘Peace Walkers’ join annually in the two-mile walk along MLK Ave in SE DC. Notable previous year attendees include Nick Cannon, Mayor Muriel Bowser, former Mayor and Current Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray, radio personality Donnie Simpson, music virtuoso Blake Miles Hopkins, and the late civil rights legend Dick Gregory who spoke at the beginning and end of our 2014 Peace Walk. The 2018 Peace Walk will begin at 2500 MLK Ave SE and end at the Barry Farm Recreation Center.

Monday, January 15 from 4 - 6 PM, “Awake and In Motion: Celebrating 50 Years of MLK.” In his final Sunday sermon, preached at Washington National Cathedral 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, preached on "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution." Through excerpts from Dr. King's sermon, echoed in song, prayer, movement and dance, we urge our community today to stay awake and in motion in service of the Dream. Doors open at 3:30 PM, music begins at 3:45 PM, featuring: Music by Washington Performing Arts’ Children of the Gospel and the Cathedral house band. Contemporary dance and movement performances Truthworker and Jennifer Harge of Harge Dance Stories. Free - register here: http://bit.ly/2Dlz7jv. 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

Tuesday, January 16 from 6:30 - 7:45 PM, “40 Years of Evolution of Darwin’s Finches” - a lecture by Drs. Peter and Rosemary Grant. Darwin said evolution was too slow to be observed, but modern studies have corrected this assertion. The Grants will discuss their decades of work studying Darwin’s finches on the Galápagos Island of Daphne Major, as chronicled in the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time. Their research showed that Darwin’s finches evolve repeatedly when the environment changes. They have even observed the initial stages of new species formation! At the Carnegie Institution for Science, 1530 P St. NW. Free but a $10 donation is appreciated - register at https://carnegiescience.edu/darwinsfinches

Tuesday, January 16 at 6:30 PM, Local author Paula Young Shelton will speak about her personal experiences of being involved with the Civil Rights Movement as told in her book Child of the Civil Rights Movement. This event is part of the Library's commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Week. Free. At the Shepherd Park Library, 7420 Georgia Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/58949

Wednesday January 17 Community Sing at Levine Music. Singers of all ages can join our joyful Community Sings led by Ysaye Barnwell, who will have all attendees singing five-part harmonies within minutes. Tickets: $5 at the door. At the Lang Recital Hall, 2801 Upton Street NW, http://www.levinemusic.org/performance/events-calendar/event/1357

Thursday, January 18 at 12 - 1:30 PM, An Ethics Agenda for 2018 - Featuring Walt Shaub. Walt Shaub is the former Director of the Office of Government Ethics. Mr. Shaub currently serves as the Senior Director, Ethics for The Campaign Legal Center. Following his remarks, Mr. Shaub will take questions from attendees. In the Warren Bldg NT01, Washington College of Law, American University, 4300 Nebraska Avenue NW. Free - register here: https://www.wcl.american.edu/news-events/events/detail/5779/  

Thursday January 18 at 6 PM, "Cloathes and provisions on their Backs": The Soldier's Knapsack. During the American Revolution, soldiers primarily carried all their comforts on their backs in what was known as a knapsack. Made from materials ranging from linen to bearskin, knapsacks were a key piece of equipage for the infantry soldier. Neal Hurst, Colonial Williamsburg's associate curator of costumes and textiles, explores these rare surviving pieces of soldiers' equipment from the Continental Army. The talk will last approximately 45 minutes with time afterwards for questions. Free. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Ave. NW, http://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/events/public

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Still Life with Robin: 2018 Future and Past and Palindromes

NASA: Full Moon Blog
by Peggy Robin

We’re already a week into 2018 – only 51 more weeks till 2019! – and high time to consider what the year will bring us in the way of astronomical events and historic anniversaries.

The first Big Thing in the night sky is coming up at the end of this month:
January 31 - The Super Blue Moon Eclipse:
https://www.space.com/39208-super-blue-blood-moon-guide.html
(First time in 150 years that these things have come together.)

The full moon does not make an appearance at all in the month of February, coming back again twice in March (1st and 31st – and it's the second appearance of a full moon within a month that is called a “blue moon.” A blue moon is not such a rare thing, occurring in any given year from once to three times. But a month without any full moon at all is a much rarer thing - 2009 being the last year having a month without a full moon.
https://www.farmersalmanac.com/astronomy/2017/12/28/full-moon-february/

March 7th and 8th will bring us the “Parade of Planets” – that’s 5 bright planets all visible at once….if we're blessed with a clear night:
http://earthsky.org/?p=274164

On July 29 the focus will be on Mars, the red planet, which will be at its closest point to earth since 2003 – illuminated by the full moon. Then throughout August Mars will appear in the night sky like a large bright orangey star. According to National Georgraphic, the closeness and brightness of Mars throughout the month will lead to “a month of Mars-watching some astronomers call `Marsapalooza.`”
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/12/top-skywatching-events-2018-eclipses-meteors-planets-astronomy/

Let’s now skip ahead to winter and the brightest comet to come along in years. Here’s National Geographic again, telling us what to expect on December 12:

“If early predictions play out, comet 46P/Wirtanen may brighten enough in December to be spotted easily with the unaided eye. If it does attain naked-eye visibility, it will be the brightest comet seen from the Northern Hemisphere in more than five years. The icy interloper will reach perihelion—its closest approach to the sun—on December 12 and will be traveling through the bright winter constellation Taurus, the bull.  Only four days after it slingshots around the sun, the comet will make its closest approach to Earth, coming within 7.2 million miles of the planet on its way toward the outer solar system. At this point, the comet should be easy to hunt down as it passes by the brilliant Pleiades and Hyades star clusters.”

Twenty-eighteen has a Palindrome Week from August 10 to August 19 – that is, 8-10-18 through 8-19-18 (reading the same forwards and backwards). But only one day this year is a full 4-digit-year format Palindrome Day: 8-10-2018.
https://www.timeanddate.com/date/palindrome-day.html

And now a quick race through time for a few historical anniversaries:

We will be hearing a lot throughout the year of the fifty year anniversaries of all the upheavals of 1968 (RFK, MLK assassinations, student revolts at universities around the world).

Feb 27 2018 will mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – with read-ins and other commemorative events scheduled around the world. Go to http://frankenreads.org/ to find Frankenstein Bicentennial event near you.

November 11, 2018 will be the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I.

And on July 29 it will be one thousand years since Count Dirk III won the Battle of Vlaardigen in Holland, defeating the forces of the Holy Roman Emperor.
http://www.keesn.nl/vlaard/vlaard_en.htm (be sure to scroll down the page to see the modern-day re-enactors of the battle in their chain mail and battle gear!)
Count Dirk’s name may not be on the tip of your tongue, but this July in Holland, there will be a Millennium Victory Celebration….and you might just want to be there!

Wishing you all many reasons to celebrate in 2018!

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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local, usually on Saturdays but occasionally on Sundays. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column

Gala Theatre's 3 Kings Day Celebration
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv
www.cleveland-park.com        

Friday, January 5 at 6 PM, Joy of Motion Dance Center's Youth Dance Ensemble will be performing at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, presenting an evening of mixed repertory by faculty and guest artists including Sarah Beth Oppenheim, Candace Scarborough, Mat Elder, Abby Leithart, and Jenifer Dobbins. Free - no reservations needed, http://www.kennedy-center.org/video/performance/64544 

Friday, January 5 from 6 - 9 PM, Rock Creek Conservancy’s Happy Hour at Soundcheck Night Club. Come out and celebrate 2018 with Rock Creek Conservancy, where you can mix and mingle with new people who support Rock Creek Park. A $5-$10 suggested donation will be requested at the door. There will also be a raffle of items perfect for helping you stick with your New Year’s Resolution. Please note that 80% of the proceeds will go to support Rock Creek Conservancy’s advocacy, volunteer, education, and restoration programming; the rest go towards the cost of the event. Soundcheck Night Club is at 1420 K St. NW, and the closest Metro is McPherson Square. More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/124538284997083/ 

Saturday, January 6 from 10 - 11 AM, Galette des Rois. Come to Alliance Francaise DC and partake in the famous and delicious Galette des Rois! Get a chance to find la fève and become the King or Queen for the day! Price per slice: $2 for members / $3 for non-members. Please order your slices in advance: http://bit.ly/2l7YLAd. At Alliance Française de Washington, DC, 2142 Wyoming Avenue NW.  

Saturday, January 6 from 11 AM - 4 PM, “1968: Shaping the District.” Connect with a variety of organizations to explore DC as it was in 1968: a predominantly African American city in a complex time of grassroots organizing, groundbreaking initiatives, creative expression, racism, protests, and activism. Hear historian Dr. Marya McQuirter and others talk about the people, places, and stories of the time. Listen to music evocative of the year, performed by musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra. Engage in conversations and share your own stories. Gain a broader picture of 1968 beyond the uprisings after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. The National Building Museum presents this event in partnership with others in The 1968–2018 Collaborative, a group of individuals, institutions, and organizations planning events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the entire year of 1968 in Washington, DC. Chaired by Marya Annette McQuirter, the 1968-2018 Collaborative is an extension of the work initiated by Bernard Demczuk, historian of Ben's Chili Bowl. Free, drop in. All ages encouraged. At the National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW. See schedule of activities at: http://go.nbm.org/site/Calendar/1159587301?view=Detail&id=122810

Saturday, January 6 at 11:30 AM, NSO In Your Neighborhood: The String Thing. Attention kids, parents, grandparents, cousins and rubber chickens: Step right up to this daring double act of classical fun. Bassist Paul DeNola and violinist Heather LeDoux Green take breaks from the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) to introduce young audiences to some of the greatest music ever written. You’ll never hear a word out of them during the concert, but with instruments in hand and a trunk full of gags, this “silent” comedic tag-team presents a hilarious program of music and mayhem. This free family program is a part of the annual NSO In Your Neighborhood series. At the Woodridge Library, 1801 Hamlin Street NE, 202-541-6226. Metro: Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood. More info: https://www.dclibrary.org/node/58909 

Sunday, January 7 from 3 - 5 PM, It’s the No Pants Metro Ride DC 2018! Our 10th year riding the DC Metro without pants! Act as if it's any other day: you're traveling to/from work, you're headed to meet some friends, you're en route to some appointment, you're carting off your old Christmas tree, you're a tourist not quite sure how to navigate Metro….you just happen to be without pants. Meet at 3 PM at Hancock Park (at L'Enfant Metro) and ride, then come to the After-Party at 5 PM at Front Page, at the Dupont Circle Metro. This free and family-friendly event has some rules -- go to https://www.facebook.com/events/135233940493933 to familiarize yourself with them -- and no, this is NOT the weekly fake event -- it’s even better because it’s absolutely real! We can’t make up stuff this good, so there’s no Fake Event this week. To see how good it gets, take a look at last year’s No Pants Subway Ride NYC 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7ePrBYb2wA. The only thing about this year’s No Pants Ride is, will the Metro be running? Or will the bitter cold crack our tracks and shut down the No Pants Metro Ride of 2018?  

Sunday January 7 at 11:30 AM and 2 PM, “Fiesta de los Reyes Magos/Three Kings Day Celebration.” Don’t miss GALA’s traditional Three Kings celebration, featuring the Magi, live animals, local performers, a walk through the neighborhood, and gifts for every child. Admission is free, but a small gift for a boy or a girl ages 3 to 12 is suggested. at GALA Theatre, 3333 14th St NW. Tickets for the 11:30 AM presentation will be distributed at GALA’s Box Office at 10 am on a first-come, first serve basis;  tickets for the 2 PM presentation will be distributed at the Box Office at 12 PM. Maximum 6 tickets per person. More info: http://en.galatheatre.org/2016/06/fiesta-de-los-reyes-magos-three-kings.html 

Sunday, January 7 from 3 - 5 PM. Art Exhibit: "Monumental Washington" - a new series of digital paintings by Judith L. Smith. Free. At River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6301 River Road, Bethesda. For more information, including viewing hours in addition to reception, call 301-229-0400 or email soleilart8 @ aol dot com

Monday, January 8 The Jewish King Lear, presented by the Shakespeare Theatre Company in partnership with Theater J’s Yiddish Theater Lab for the Reading ReDiscovery Series. Hailed as one of the foundational works of the “Golden Age” of American Yiddish theater, The Jewish King Lear is also the crowning work of Jacob Gordin, the Russian-born American regarded as a master of the form. Transposing Shakespeare’s timeless tale to the 19th-century Russian steppe, Gordin depicts the clash of culture and tradition, duty and education, wealth and family in Ruth Gay’s new translation. At the Lansburth Theatre, 450 7th Street NW. Reserve your free tickets: http://www.shakespearetheatre.org/events/jewish-king-lear/

Tuesday, January 9 at 7 PM, Film: The Rabbi’s Cat/Le Chat du Rabbin (100 min.) Based on the best-selling graphic novel by Joann Sfar, The Rabbi’s Cat tells the story of a rabbi and his talking cat – a sharp-tongued feline philosopher brimming with scathing humor and a less than pure love for the rabbi’s voluptuous teenage daughter. Algeria in the 1930s is an intersection of Jewish, Arab and French culture. A cat belonging to a widowed rabbi and his beautiful daughter, Zlabya, eats the family parrot and miraculously gains the ability to speak. Along with the power of speech comes unparalleled sardonic wit, and the cat – and filmmaker Sfar – spare no group or individual as they skewer faith, tradition and authority in a provocative exploration of (among other things) God, lust, death, phrenology, religious intolerance, interspecies love, and the search for truth. Joann Sfar is an award winning filmmaker (Gainsbourg) and one of France’s most celebrated comic artists. Free admission. Online registration is required for this screening - go to: http://frenchculture.org/events/6796-rabbis-cat. The film is recommended for a mature audience. At the Embassy of France - La Maison Française, 4101 Reservoir Road, NW 

Wednesday, January 10 from 6:30 - 8 PM, Responding to Hatred and Extremism: Solutions from Faith Traditions, a panel discussion with Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig, the Rev. Dr. Beverly Janet Goines and Emre Celik, president of the Rumi Forum (the sponsoring organization for this event). The evening will start with a reception at 6:30 PM and the panel discussion will begin at 7 PM. Free. At the National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle NW. Register at: http://rumiforum.org/responding-to-hatred-and-extremism/

Thursday, January 11 at 6 PM, “Soirée Galette des Rois.” Spend a relaxing evening at the Alliance Française - with a piece of this traditional cake, some cider, and maybe you will the one to find the fève! This event will be in French & English. Ticket for Galette des rois (cake only): $7 + Processing Fees; Ticket for Galette des rois and French Cider: $12 + Processing Fees. Register here: http://bit.ly/2EXSi39. At Alliance Française de Washington, 2142 Wyoming Ave. NW.

Thursday, January 11 at 6 PM, Information Session for First-Time Home Buyers. Tired of renting? Are you ready to buy your own home? We can help. At this session, sponsored by nonprofit housing counseling program University Legal Services, find out: How to qualify to buy a house; About the HPAP program for first-time home buyers; How to attend future information seminars; Answers to any questions you have about the home-buying process. University Legal Services is funded by the District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development. The free session will be presented in English and in Spanish. At Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/55912 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Still Life with Robin: CP Listserv Year in Review, Part II: The Greatest Gifts of 2017

ANoshiro - Fireworks 2017 (via Creative Commons)
by Peggy Robin

As 2017 draws to a close we complete our two-part backward glance at some of the highlights of the year in Listserv posts. Last week it was Animal Tales and this week it’s Best Giveaways. In past year-end reviews we’ve given the nod to best posts of the year in eight to ten different categories, but this year we’ve opted for a scaled-back, spare approach, focusing on just these two types of messages. Perhaps in 2018 we’ll go back to the multi-category extravaganza. But it all depends on what next year will bring. We’ll find out in 12 months’ time. Now’s the time to appreciate the Greatest Listserv's Greatest Giveaways of 2017:

The year began with a series of giveaways on a theme – Watergate – which feels curiously relevant at this particular point in time. On January 12, 2017 our first contender for Best Giveaway of 2017 appears, submitted by Kathy R., who, immediately upon announcing that her free Watergate-era magazines had been claimed, even speculated about the likelihood of capturing the "best giveaway" prize:

Message # 121043
January 12 2017 Re: Taken - 4 Watergate-era Time magazines, free to good home
These are already promised...thanks for the interest, and sorry for any disappointment!  I don't expect to capture moderator Peggy's "best giveaway of 2017" award, but I might win January.
-Kathy

There followed a post offering a nice variety of Watergate-related items by Alfred F., under the irresistible subject line “Wallowing in Watergate – for free”:

For anyone wanting to return to 1973-74, I would be glad to contribute a full (12-volume) set of the Ervin Committee hearings, along with the April 1974 compilation of the White House tapes and a volume of background material on impeachment (House Judiciary Committee, October 1973).

I would also welcome interest in or advice on the disposition of a seven-volume set of the 1979 Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearings and report on the SALT II treaty and 20 or so volumes of hearings and reports on US-Soviet relations (1978) and "implementation" of the Helsinki Accords (1976-1982).

[The items were indeed wanted and soon taken.]

…which prompted Kathy R. to return to the conversation with an account of some Watergate-era items that she would definitely NOT be giving up anytime soon:

Re: Wallowing in Watergate - for free
"Wallowing in Watergate"...great subject line!
However, having started this thread, may I clarify that I am NOT about to give away my little pocket-sized copy of "The Wit and Wisdom of Spiro Agnew," nor my 78-rpm recording of "We're Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean," the 1973 novelty hit by The Creep (lyrics at http://dmdb.org/lyrics/hemd.html). Sorry, neighbors. Never mind that I own no device capable of playing the latter.
Kathy

And the discussion was capped off on January 13, 2017 by an offer from Eleanor O. to give away a 1960s political poster called “The Last Supper” with political figures in place of Jesus and the Apostles:

`60s political poster - free
Attn: Neighbors,
Free to good new home: For the folks who were interested in Mr. Friendly’s wonderful collection of Watergate history I have a poster titled “The Last Supper.” The composition is similar to a DaVinci fresco of the same name, but the dinner guests bear a strong resemblance to political luminaries of the 1960s. It is a bit fragile but could be nicely framed.

From Watergate to wine….we jump to October 12, 2017 for our next glump of giveaways: Corkers! Well, who knew wine corks would be in such demand? The series of eight posts starts off on October 11 with Jay’s simple question:

“Anyone need old wine corks for art projects? Let me know before I toss them.”

A few minutes passed and then the “taken” post came through. And after that, a poster named Pat offered up her own unwanted corks to the group….and not long afterward, reported “an overwhelming response.” Which in turn prompted Laurie to see if anyone would take her excess corks. Followed by David, who informed list members that they could recycle their old corks at various participating wine stores. Kate then tossed out the suggestion that old corks could be turned into built-in pot-holders for the metal lids of certain types of cookware. And then we need to jump ahead six weeks to December 1, when Elizabeth called on everyone to contribute their corks to a “cork pull” fundraiser at the Ethiopian Embassy, to benefit Ethiopian children. 

The Great Giving of the Corks finally came to an end with message # 131182: “Re: Thank you to all who donated wine and corks to the Hope For Children Fund's Cork Pull” with the report that $1250 was raised from the donated corks! Good going, wine-drinkers and cork-savers all!

And now (drum roll, please), we get to the three best giveaways of 2017.

In third place, mainly for its admirable frankness about the non-use of exercise equipment, this offer of a recumbent bicycle, never used:

October 31, 2017
A couple of years ago (at least), I bought, thanks to this listserv, a commercial semi-recumbent fitness bike from someone who said he hadn’t used it more than twice in the years he had owned it. I can now report that it is in exactly the same pristine condition as it was the day I acquired it. In other words, I have NEVER used it. So I am facing facts. I am ready to give it away to anyone who can carry it down a flight of stairs and out of my life. It is a Vision Fitness Commercial Fitness Bike (model R2600HRT), complete with heart rate monitor and other bells and whistles. I have the manual and all the original gizmos that came with it. Let me know if you are interested.
-Ann

I am holding out a bit of hope for 2018 that the bike will reappear on the listserv, offered to yet another person who may keep it a while and then send it back out again, virtually untouched! Keep it going, non-cyclists!

And now for the second-best giveaway of the year, from Laine….It’s a BRAIN! (Okay, if you want to get technical, it’s a mold to make one out of Jello). Thus:

Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:08 am (PST)
Free lifesized brain mold - for jello
 “Fun for the whole family! Before I put it into the recycling bin, anyone want a plastic mold to make a life-sized jello brain? There are recipes online to make it the color and opacity of a real brain. I did it for years with my boys; it’s someone else’s turn….” 

And now, for the very best, number one giveaway of 2017 – and don’t go by me – go by the art critics: It’s the Artiest Piece of a Toilet!

The original offer came from Susan P., posting on August 22, 2017 (message #128252)

Free: New toilet sans tank
“We have a new American Standard toilet, still in the box and wrapping, to give away. However, it needs a tank. We cracked the tank in our existing toilet, and because it was under warranty, American Standard shipped us a new one, but sent us a whole new toilet which we didn’t need. Home Depot sells the replacement tanks. This is the Champion 4 Max recommended by Consumer Reports. I’ve already tried Community Fork Lift and Habitat for Humanity but they wouldn’t take it without the missing tank. If you can use it or have other ideas for a place to donate, let me know.”

And here’s the fantastic ending to this story on September 6, 2017:

Message # 128647
Re: Free toilet without a tank...and listserv serendipity

Recently I needed to dispose of half of a new toilet—the seat without the tank. I offered it free on the listserv, but feared I wouldn’t get any takers. Wrong! I heard immediately from Margery E. Goldberg, founder and director of Zenith Gallery who wanted it for an art piece she was making for the gallery’s latest show, Resist.

[or http://wapo.st/2eGZbK6 if the long link above does not work].

I took out-of-town friends to see it last Saturday, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  Much of the art was inspired by the March on Washington and the current political climate. But even more interesting is how Margery has turned her Shepherd Park home into a gallery displaying the works of many fine artists.The Resist exhibit runs through the month of September.

And if you go, note the gold painted toilet by the front door with a political statement easily understood. www.zenithgallery.com.

Thanks Cleveland Park listserv, the best resource ever.

-To which I say, thank YOU, Cleveland Park listserv members, the most generous of givers-away of things, and the most creative re-users of things given away! Please, outdo yourselves in 2018, and Happy New Year to all!
----------------------------------

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local, usually on Saturdays but sometimes on Sundays. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Get Out! - The Events Column

DC Public Library: Washington Color School 
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv
www.cleveland-park.com     

Thursday, December 28 at 6 PM, Concert: Holiday Music in the Garden - Capital Accord Chorus. Join the U.S. Botanic Garden for a festive evening of holiday music. Please note: Limited seating will be available. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating will open around 5:30 PM. Capital Accord Chorus is a women's chorus performing four-part a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. Their fun and engaging repertoire ranges from jazz to pop, through standards and show tunes -- they sing it all. Free, no pre-registration required. In the Conservatory Garden Court of the US Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Avenue SW, http://bit.ly/2E0CeNw

Friday, December 28 from 1 - 4 PM, The 4th Annual Cookie Decorating and Craft Making Event at the Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Avenue NW. The Chevy Chase Citizens Association will supply cookies, icing and decorations. Free. http://www.chevychasecitizens.org/events.htm

Friday, December 29 at 4 PM, Art and Creativity Hour: Washington Color School Inspired Art. Create artwork inspired by a homegrown, D.C. art movement. In the 1950s and 1960s, a group of Washington artists were inspired by how color alone could be the subject of a painting. Help us celebrate these artists by making art inspired by color yourself. No materials required. Recommended for ages 6-12. Free. At the West End Library, 2301 L St. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/58931

Saturday, December 30 from 10 AM - 4 PM, “As the Wheel Turns.” Learn about the power of water and its connection to food when you tour a mill with park volunteers from the Friends of Peirce Mill or a National Park Service ranger. All ages welcome. (Drop-in—staff-led tours or self-guided tours available until the mill closes at 4 PM). Free. Mill tours also offered on Sunday, same times. Peirce Mill is in Rock Creek Park at 2401 Tilden St NW.

Sunday, December 31 at 12 Noon, Stamp Out Roman Enumeration System (SORES). Just before the year turns MMXVIII, join the movement to stamp out Roman numerals! This irrational and anachronistic system of enumeration, along with Mayan tied-knot accounting and the Sumerian/Babylonian base-60 system, should be left to archaeologists, scholars of ancient history, and pedants. These days, who would see MCMLXXVII in tiny type at the end of a rerun of the Mary Tyler Moore show and be able to decipher it correctly as 1977? Especially when we have smartphones with access to IMDB and you can get the answer with a few short clicks. Why waste children’s time in school on teaching M=1,000 and D=500 when they could be learning to code and create the next billion-seller video game? At this organizing session/rally, you can help to move us out of the first century and into the 21st! Click for the time and place of the meeting: http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent

Sunday, December 31 from 10 AM - 1 PM “Noon Yards Eve.” Ring in 2018 with the Noon Yards Eve balloon drop! Family-friendly activities for kids of all ages, including trackless train rides through The Yards, face painting, balloon artistry, music, and more. Free. At Yards Park, 355 Water St. SE, https://www.theyardsdc.com/event/2017/12/noon-yards-eve-2/

Monday, January 1 at 10 AM, Fresh Start DC 5K Run. Join Mayor Muriel Bowser and hundreds of DC residents for the FitDC Fresh Start 5K! As part of our One Billion Steps Challenge, we are inviting people of all ages to join us for this fun fitness activity. Registration and packet pickup begins at 9 AM and the Fresh Start 5K begins at 10:00 AM. Shuttle service between the Anacostia Metro station and Start/Finish line in Anacostia Park will be available beginning at 8:30 AM. Participants are encouraged to utilize public transportation as there may be limited parking at the station. Anacostia Park is at 1900 Anacostia Drive. Free. Register at http://bit.ly/2zDEGpV For additional information about FitDC, visit http://freshstart5kdc.com/

Wednesday, January 3 at 7 PM, DIY Mending Workshop. Have a loose button or a popped seam you're not sure how to fix? Bring your (clean) garment to this workshop and learn how to repair it. We will provide know-how as well as a sewing machine, needles, thread and limited notions. Free. At the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Avenue NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/57742

Thursday, January 4 - by appointment all day. Fun with Family History - Genealogy and Personal Archiving Clinic. Come to the library to take your genealogy or personal archiving session to the next level using library resources and technology. Library staff are available to help with: genealogy and family history research; house history research; photo scanning; online and social media sharing. Because this is a one-on-one session with a library staff member, we ask you to make an appointment with Cynthia Vrabel via email - cynthia.vrabel @ dc dot gov. Free. At the Southeast Neighborhood Library, 403 7th St. SE, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/55795

Thursday, January 4 at 12 Noon, Lunchtime Chamber Music: Vasily Popov (cello) and Ralitza Patcheva (piano), a husband and wife duo, plus special guests, will perform standards from the classical repertoire. Vasily Popov has performed extensively both as soloist and chamber musician in Germany, Russia, Belgium, Finland, Italy and the United States. He is a prize winner at the All-Russian Competition and the Gartow Foundation Competition. Ralitza Patcheva is a versatile pianist, equally adept at performing early, classical, and modern music. She is a prizewinner at international competitions and has soloed with the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, DC), the Jena Philharmonic (Germany), the Haydn Orchestra (Italy), Arlington Symphony, Alexandria Symphony and Williamsburg Symphonia, and has performed at major international concert venues. This free concert is sponsored by the DC Public Library and Goethe-Institut Washington, and will take place in Suite 3 at the Goethe-Institut Washington, 1990 K St. NW. Enter on 20th St, lower level. No registration needed. More info on the concert series: http://bit.ly/2DZkn9L  

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Still Life with Robin: The CP Listserv Year in Review, Part I: Animal Tales (Both Real and Stuffed)


This backward glance at 2017 will appear in two parts – and it will be limited to just two types of posts: Animal Tales – Both Real and Stuffed (the subject of today’s column) and next week’s column, Best Giveaways. It helps the mind to focus, I propose, to limit coverage to just one topic per column. Also, after doing an exhaustive review of a full year’s worth of posts (11,147), I decided these two categories had the posts most worthy of repeat airing on the Listserv.

So it’s on to the Animals we go:

We’ll start on March 27, 2017 with the Tale of the Fishes in Need of a Ride. A list member’s elderly relative in New York City was left with some fish by her teenage grandchild. But the grandmother, due to declining health, was unable to care for them. The grandchild was saddened at the thought of the fishes’ looming ill fate. If the fish could somehow be transported to DC, they’d be saved. But how to get them here? That was the question in message 123350 “Can Anyone Supply an Ending to This Fish Tale?”
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/cleveland-park/conversations/messages/123350 
And sure enough, the Listserv worked its magic, and later that same day, there came this report of a happy ending:

Mar 27 2017
Message # 123369
Happy ending Re: Can anyone supply an ending to this fish tale?

Because so many people emailed, I'd like to let you know the fish tale has a happy ending - at least for the fish. It has been taken in by a family who went and bought a tank, filter, the works to save it. It will live on. I can't imagine this is a happy ending for the teenager, but I tried.
A huge thank you to the many kindhearted people from the Cleveland Park area who offered suggestions, ideas, assistance and some humor. A special shout out to BestBus, which offered the poor fish a ride home and to the person who offered to take the bus to NY herself to pick up the fish.
Great to know how many caring people there are in this world.
Thank you again!
Ellen
-----

Our next trio of stories concern things lost and found -- involving apes (both stuffed and real) and a lobster. The first of these, about a stuffed gorilla, ends in mystery; the real apes' story gets an O.Henry-style cute ending. And the third, about a lobster….well, you’ll see.

First, the toy gorilla, found by a list member on May 8, 2017:

Found: One Gorilla
Hi --
If anyone is missing a small stuffed gorilla, possibly dropped from a stroller, I just saw him on my walk. He's now sitting at the base of the streetlight on the southwest corner of Woodley Rd. and 34th St.
Best,
Susanna

There was no follow-up, so we’re presuming the gorilla is still sitting, lonely and sad, at the base of the streetlight at Woodley and 34th! If it was taken away, please provide any information you might have as to its whereabouts. Was it ever reunited with the child from the stroller? Eager CP Listserv readers want to know!

And now to the ape story with the amusing ending (it’s message #126495 on June 27 2017 - sent in response to a question about where to donate old towels and linens)

Before my husband and I moved I had towels and linens galore to donate. A lot of them ended up at the zoo. As a funny aside, my (adult) daughter, who no longer lived with us, asked where her blue, polka dotted duvet cover was. I told her not to worry, it would turn up. About a month after our move she took her students to the zoo for a field trip. And right there in the chimpanzee cage hanging over a limb was the blue, polka dotted duvet cover. So, I was right, it turned up. Moral of the story: when your kids move out make them take their stuff because there's no telling where it will end up.
Mary

Last of the three: a lobster tale posted on September 11, 2017:
Message # 128763

We are missing our son's beloved red lobster stuffed animal with "Maine" written on one of the arms. I probably lost it either on 38th St. between Van Ness and Upton or at the Tenleytown Whole Foods (I've already been there and haven't found it) (or Arlington). If you happen to see it, please email…. It looks like this. We have 2 back ups but he knows his original favorite one from a line up.
[or http://bit.ly/2fcBKsT if the long link above is broken]
Thank you!
Nisha and Jason

With the finale:

It's been found! Thanks to everyone who wrote for encouragement and support! My son was very happy to be reunited with his red lobster.
Nisha And Jason

However, the best listserv animal story of the year, I must concede with some regret, was not found on the Cleveland Park Listserv at all, but came from our sister Listserv, The Chevy Chase Community Listserv, where it was reposted from its original appearance on Tenleytown. It was so good, it was already in the Washington Post by the time we heard of it:

Message # 203115
June 27 2017
Re: [ChevyChase] Missing Tortoise `Maui` is Safely Home

See below for a statement from tortoise owner, posted to the Tenleytown Listserv Monday afternoon
- Mary
--------
"It's nothing short of a miracle, but this evening we found Maui on the grounds of the Japanese ambassador's residence. Thanks to whomever forwarded the listserv postings to Dana Hedgpeth of the Washington Post. That resulted in this story going up on the Post's website this afternoon:
Shortly after it went up, we received another report of a sighting yesterday just inside the fence along Nebraska. The story prompted the Embassy to allow us on the grounds to search, which the staff declined to allow us to do yesterday and earlier today for security reasons. Within about 30 minutes, my wife Nicky found Maui nestled in the ivy. And thanks to all those who reported sightings and offered tips. We are very grateful."
-Andrew

May 2018 bring us many more such happy endings. And stay tuned to this space for Part II of the Cleveland Park Listserv’s Year in Review: Best Giveaways of 2017!
--------------------------------

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv and on All Life Is Local, usually on Saturdays but occasionally on Sundays.