Picnics at Fort McHenry

If you’re not familiar with Fort McHenry, your elementary school education has failed you. It is the birthplace of our national anthem. Francis Scott Key wrote The Star Spangled Banner about seeing the flag fly over Fort McHenry. while being held captive on a boat off the shore. You have to pay to go into the fort itself or the visitors’ center, but the park surrounding the fort is free to enter and enjoy at your leisure.

A lot of people from the area run around the park or kayak in the water around it. There is also a picnic area with a bunch of picnic tables, which is where my use of the fort comes in unless I happen to be showing friends or family who are visiting around the city. My church is very near to the location of Fort McHenry so when the weather is nice some friends and I will grab some take out from one of the local restaurants or grab some food from one of the local grocery stores to take on a picnic in the park.

A group of us went over yesterday though it turned out not to be great picnic weather after all. We decided we should have done a pre-church breakfast picnic instead because it was sunny and warm when church started, but by the time we got out it had turned cloudy and windy. Being on a piece of land jutting out into the water just magnifies the wind, so it was kind of chilly for a picnic. We had a good time anyway.

Here’s a few pictures at the fort, though neither of them was taken yesterday.

Fort McHenry
Fort McHenry
View of the water from the Fort McHenry picnic area.
View of the water from the Fort McHenry picnic area.

Sherwood Gardens

Sherwood Gardens is located in a Baltimore neighborhood called Guilford. It is the fancy, full of houses I could never even think about owning part of the city. According to the website

“Sherwood Gardens was created in the 1920’s by John W. Sherwood, local petroleum pioneer and conservationist. Begun as a hobby, and planted by Mr. Sherwood with tulips that he imported from the Netherlands, the gardens have become known as the most famous tulip garden in North America. They cover Stratford Green, one of the original parks laid out by the Olmsted Brothers for the enjoyment of the residents of Guilford, and several adjacent building lots purchased by Mr. Sherwood. His own house adjoined the gardens at 204 East Highfield Road.

When Mr. Sherwood died in 1965, he bequeathed sufficient funds to continue the gardens for one year. After that period, the Guilford Association purchased the additional lots from the Sherwood estate and took responsibility for its care.”

My friend Karen called me on Sunday and asked if I wanted to take a walk over to the gardens because the tulips should be blooming. They in fact are at peak bloom right now, so if you live in Baltimore and want to see the tulips I would get over there in the next few days. This is one of the best years I’ve seen. Many years it seems that all the beds don’t bloom in sync so half of them will be losing their petals while the other half are just starting to bloom. This year aside from 3 or 4 beds all the flowers seem to be in full bloom right now, so it’s a gorgeous site to see. You can check out my pictures from the day below. The little dog in them is my friend Karen’s dog Guapo.

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Day Trip to NYC

On Saturday I took a trip up to New York City for the day with 5 of my friends to celebrate our friend Heather’s birthday. Aside from the ridiculous number of hours I was awake (I had to get up at 5 am and didn’t get back home until 1:30 am the next day) it was a very fun day. We took the Megabus up and back. From Baltimore assuming you don’t hit any major traffic it takes between 3 and 3 1/2 hours. It’s one of the benefits of living in Baltimore that I can just easily pop up to NYC for a day or weekend.

Usually when we go up it’s to see my sister-in-law and her family. They live on the Upper West Side so we’re usually doing kid friendly stuff up around those parts of the city or I’m seeing a Broadway show, which means it’s been a really long time since I’ve been south of Midtown, so this trip got me into some parts of the city I’ve either never been to or haven’t been to in a really long time.

God bless Heather for extremely well planned out itinerary. She pretty much always knew where we going and how to get there. The planner in me very much appreciated it. I very much like having a plan, which usually means I wind up making all the plans. It was nice in this case to have a very well organized plan while getting to take a vacation from being the one doing all the work.

After getting into the city our first stop was for breakfast bagels. You can’t beat a New York City bagel. Every time I eat one I am reminded how inferior the bagels in Baltimore are. I will continue to scoff at all the people who tell me it is impossible to get good pizza outside of New York though.

Our first real stop was the High Line, which if you are not familiar is a park built a few years ago along an old elevated railroad track. I’ve heard lots of good things about it since it opened, but have never made it down there until this trip. As advertised it was pretty cool.

Part of the High Line
Part of the High Line
Picture of a giant potato we saw looking down from the High Line. You know just because.
Picture of a giant potato we saw looking down from the High Line. You know just because.

After the High Line we headed to the Garment District so my friends could look at fabric. I can barely sew on a button, but some of my friends including Heather who does professional costuming for a number of Baltimore theaters are much more excited about these things. I just sat in a chair while they went about their business.

Then we headed up towards Union Square where we got some bread, cheese, and fruit from the farmers’ market there for lunch. A former roommate of my friends Heather and Julie is currently living in Manhattan so Julie arranged for her to accidentally run into us in Union Square to surprise Heather, which she did, so that was kind of fun. After hanging out in Union Square and enjoying the beautiful spring weather for awhile we headed over to The Strand to peruse the books. Hello 18 miles of books! Unfortunately I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I asked and supposedly they had it, but I looked on the shelf twice and my friend Alison lent her eyes as well and we couldn’t find it. Oh well. I’ll just get my local book store to order it for me.

The Strand
The Strand

We did some regrouping over coffee/chai after we finished at The Strand deciding that it was too late in the day to make going to The Guggenheim, which was our original plan, worth it. Instead we decided to head up to the Upper West Side (I can’t get away from that part of the city) and grab cream puffs from Beard Papa and then hit the Natural History Museum since it’s free to get in during the last hour they are open. I was all for this plan as Beard Papa is delicious and I haven’t had it for a long time. My sister-in-law used to live about 10 blocks from it so my husband and I would always swing by on our way to or from their apartment. Then they moved and it was no longer convenient to just walk there, so we haven’t been in awhile. Most of the people I was with had never experienced the joys of Beard Papa, but they are now totally on board.

My delicious Beard Papa cream puff.
My delicious Beard Papa cream puff.

After cream puffs we spent about 40 minutes wandering around the dinosaur exhibit in the Natural History Museum before they kicked us out and we had to head to dinner anyway.

Dinner was at a delicious Italian restaurant called Mercato. If you’re in Midtown and need a place to eat I would highly recommend this place and I don’t even like Italian food that much. The atmosphere was great. It was kind of rustic, and as I mentioned the food was fantastic. Although they don’t serve the food family style we essentially just ordered a bunch of stuff at random (at one point we had an fried seafood appetizer, ravioli, and a dessert at the table all at once) and shared. Everything was delicious and it was seriously the best ravioli I have ever eaten.

The end of dinner was the end of our trip for the most part. After that we headed over to the bus pick up location and then made our way back to Baltimore. It was a very enjoyable day and I’m sure we’ll do it again sometime  in the future.

Love Has Come Around by Steve Martin & Edie Brickell

I joked on Twitter the other day that if you had told me in the 1980s that I would be listening to a bluegrass album by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell I would have thought you were nuts. This was in fact precipitated by the fact that I was doing just that thanks to NPR Music’s First Listen of their upcoming album Love Has Come Around, which is due out on April 23.

It’s no secret that Steve Martin is big into the banjo and bluegrass music these days. In fact he would probably smack me for calling this album bluegrass because it doesn’t conform to the strict rules of bluegrass, but I am not a bluegrass purist nor aficionado but rather someone who is trying to give you an idea of what you would be getting while listening to this album. So let’s go with bluegrass-inspired album just to appease Steve, shall we.

In addition to the music and vocals by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell respectively the album also features guest performances from renowned guitarist Waddy Wachtel, Sarah and Sean Watkins (who you already know I love, see here and here), Esperanza Spalding, and bluegrass band the Steep Canyon Rangers, who Steve Martin has collaborated with in the past.

I’ve listened to the album multiple times already and am in love with it. I very much look forward to listening to it many more times once I own a copy next week.

I’m now trying to decide if I want to make the trek down to Wolf Trap to see them in concert on June 24, which is a Monday night. The drive from Baltimore is killer on weeknights, which is why I normally avoid any non-weekend concerts at Wolf Trap. However I think this would be the perfect concert to see there and Wolf Trap is my favorite outdoor concert venue. The fact that I searched for a blog entry on it and came up empty means I haven’t seen a concert there since I started writing this blog and that is a crime. I’ll have to mull it over some more.

Unfortunately I can’t find any online links to songs from the album that aren’t first listen kinds of things that will be pulled when the album is released next week, so enjoy this interview with Steve Martin and Edie Brickell featuring some of the music from the album instead.

A Nice Warm Shower

As I was standing in my shower today long after I was clean letting the warm water pour over me just because it felt good I realized what a blessing it is and something that I should be thankful for every day. There are millions of people in the world that don’t even have clean water to drink, and yet every day I not only have easy access to clean water to drink but to also bathe in not just for cleanliness but also because a nice warm shower or a nice long bath are pleasurable experiences. These are the things I take for granted too often while going about my daily life. Odds are if you’re reading this you too have access to indoor plumbing and clean water every day, so take a moment to appreciate what a luxury it is the next time you’re using it.

I’ve donated money to charity: water  in the past, but it has been awhile. Thinking about this today made me decide it was time to make another donation. If you’re so inclined you might consider donating something to them as well.

TV for Binge Watching

My friend Tracie posed a question on Facebook last week asking for suggestions of tv shows she should watch while she’s breastfeeding. Given that I am a major tv junkie I was having a lot of fun recommending things to her, so I decided to turn it into a blog post. I gave myself a few rules:

1. The shows listed here are all shows that have completed their run.  I have a long list of shows I myself eventually want to watch but that are many seasons into their run. I get not wanting to watch something you’re eventually going to catch up to in real time, so I decided to leave anything still in production off the list. Thus you won’t find good but still ongoing shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men or the BBC’s Sherlock.

2. I am only including shows that I had positive feelings about overall by the end of show. This is not to say that many of these shows did not suffer from creative declines in their latter years as most shows do, but the ones included still have to have enough creative spark and enjoyment left in them by their end that I don’t hate them. For example, you will not be seeing House on this list because though I adored its first three seasons and I did watch all eight seasons it was on, by the end of the show I hated it and any good feelings I once had towards it were gone.

3. I’m sticking with more recent shows for this list. There are some great older shows like Cheers, The Cosby Show, and the Mary Tyler Moore show that I have enjoyed in reruns for years and can now be watched either on streaming or DVD, but I decided to stay more current with this list.

So without any further ado here is the list of tv shows I think you should watch if you haven’t already. I tried to categorize them a bit so you can gravitate towards the kinds of shows you might prefer. Obviously some shows could fit in multiple of my made up categories, so I put them where I felt like they fit best.


Friday Night Lights

If you have never watched Friday Night Lights please stop reading this blog post and go watch it right now. I love this show so much. Despite the title the show is really not a show about football. It’s about life in a small Texas town. The beauty of this show is its realism. (Okay forget season 2 when I say that.) It also has the most realistic portrayal of a marriage ever in Coach Eric and Tami Taylor. Really watching Connie Britton play Tami Taylor in this show is enough of a reason to watch. There’s also the high school kids too of course. This show very realistically let kids move on as they graduated, so the cast changes over time but you grow to love all of them. Season 2 has some real issues, but I promise if you make it through that season the rest is sublime.

The West Wing

I hope you’re picking this up after finishing all 5 seasons of Friday Night Lights. If not, shame on you. Anyway, The West Wing as should be obvious from the title revolves around staff at the White House. It’s an Aaron Sorkin show for both good and ill. If you do not have liberal leanings I can not imagine how you would like this show because I do tend toward liberal viewpoints on most issues and even I want to punch Aaron Sorkin in the face a lot for all his heavy handed preaching. Despite the anvils Sorkin likes to drop on people’s heads it’s a really smart, fast paced show which I liked a lot. The show ran for seven seasons and season 5 after Sorkin pretty much got himself fired is the low point. The show had a real resurgence in the last two seasons with the presidential campaign in my opinion. I know some people don’t care for anything after season four, but I really enjoyed seasons six and seven.


If you’re looking for a show you can get through quickly the 13 episode run of Terriers may be for you. The show revolves around Hank, a disgraced police officer now working as a private detective, and his reformed criminal partner Britt. It was obviously canceled after one season, but I still found it to be an enjoyable run with enough closure in the finale that I didn’t feel like I was left hanging which is often the case for canceled shows.

Nerdy Comedy


Chuck is such a fun, delightful little series. I wrote a lot about it right after the series finale, so just hop on over to that post to read about why you should watch this show.

Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks was a short-lived tv show about high school students in the early 80s. It only aired 12 episodes before being canceled, but you can watch all 18 episodes that were filmed. Judd Apatow was one of the executive producers so you will recognize many of the actors he continues to work with today as they were just getting their start including Jason Segel, Seth Rogan, and James Franco.

Sports Night

Want Aaron Sorkin to beat you over the head with the same political issues he does in The West Wing, but this time for some reason in a comedy set in a sports show akin to Sportscenter? Well then Sports Night is for you. This show actually preceded The West Wing, but it is amusing to see just how much Aaron Sorkin manages to use his same pet issues in both shows. If you still don’t have enough after these two shows you can also check out Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip where they come back again, though you’ll notice that show missing from this list so you might want to skip it. At any rate as I mentioned with The West Wing I enjoyed this show for the good things that Aaron Sorkin manages to do in his writing. This show only ran for two seasons and is a half hour comedy so you can plow through it pretty fast. Great for getting a taste of how Sorkin works before dedicating yourself to seven seasons of The West Wing if you’re unsure about watching that show.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer

After having his script for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie eviscerated and turned into the ridiculous (and yet still beloved by teenage me) Kristy Swason and Luke Perry movie, Joss Whedon eventually decided to reboot his ideas into a television show, which wound up running for seven seasons. The show obviously revolves around Buffy, who is a high school student who also finds out she is the chosen one and has supernatural powers allowing her to slay vampires. That comes in handy since her high school happens to sit on top of a hell mouth that gives rise to call kinds of supernatural creatures. There is an overarching “big bad” that she winds up fighting each season coupled with “monster of the week” storylines in each episode. Again the characters and the witty dialogue are big selling points for this show. I found the 13 episode first season to be problematic, but once I was past that I was sold. Like most shows this one had some serious issues by the end of its run, but there are still some episodes in the final seasons that are gems. Although I really didn’t like the storyline of the seventh season I certainly left this show with an overarching feeling of warmth for it, and I still love rewatching episodes from most of the seasons.


Angel is a spin-off from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The shows overlapped for four seasons with some cross-over storylines taking place. Some people say you should watch them concurrently starting with season 4 of Buffy so you can watch like they were broadcast on tv thus with the crossover episodes lining up. I watched them back-to-back and was still fine so watch them however you want I say. It took me a little while to get into Angel because I kept expecting it to be Buffy, which it really isn’t. I eventually came to love it for what it was. The first three seasons are great. Season four I didn’t really like that much, and season five is fine but not wonderful. I didn’t feel like the ending had much closure either so if that bothers you beware. If you are a Buffy fan I do recommend watching Angel.

Battlestar Galactica

It took me a long time to get into Battlestar Galactica, but I’m glad I stuck with it. A lot of tv critics I usually agree with kept telling me how good this show was so I kept watching until I got to the point I agreed with them. It’s a good thing I was able to binge watch it though as if I was watching it on a weekly basis I probably would have quit. It just took awhile for me to get into the characters and feel like the show was about them rather than about moving the plot forward. I’m much more of a character girl than a plot girl, so until we got past what I felt was a lot of story and a lot of fighting on star ships I was not sold on this show. I eventually got there though. The show takes place after humans have created robots called Cylons to essentially serve as their slaves. As usually happens in these kinds of situations, the Cylons become sentient beings and also unbeknownst to the humans take on human form as well. They destroy the worlds of the humans who are now reduced to a number only in the thousands living on a space fleet and running from the Cylons. I’m not doing a good job explaining this at all, but it is much better than I’m probably making it sound. I know a lot of true sci fi nerds got annoyed with this show by the end, but I thought it got better. They also hated the finale while I liked it and didn’t understand why they were so upset about the religious stuff in the finale as there are pervasive religious themes throughout the show. So take that for what it’s worth.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Speaking of robots becoming sentient and wanting to take out the human race, The Sarah Connor Chronicles is obviously a spin-off of the Terminator films. Despite what I remembered it actually ran for 2 seasons, a short 9 episode first season followed by a full second season before it was canceled. The series takes place following the events of Terminator 2. I was not a huge fan of the Terminator movies and honestly can’t see if I’ve even seen the first two all the way through. I know I haven’t seen any of the latter ones. Despite that I really enjoyed this show when it was on and was sad when it was not renewed for a third season. FYI for anyone who likes real closure for the tv shows, this show does not have it.

Doctor Who*

Ok, so I made one exception to rule number one and am including Doctor Who in this list. The show is getting ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary, so it’s not like it’s going to end any time soon for me to tell you to go watch it now. I will be honest and say I haven’t seen any of the old Doctor Who episodes. I picked up with the 2005 revival, which is currently in its seventh season. Doctor Who is a British show surrounding an alien time lord known as Doctor Who. He travels around in a blue police box time machine known as the TARDIS on adventures throughout space and time along with his companion at the time. The show is constantly reinventing itself to some degree as the Doctor regenerates when he dies so we are now on the third Doctor of this new series. His companion also changes based on the storyline. In the current series the companions have been Rose, Martha, Donna, Amy, and the current companion Clara. The special effects are ridiculous and cheesy, but the show is a lot of fun and the dialogue is very clever. I feel like it has become less episodic and more serial under Steven Moffat’s tenure, which I appreciate though there have always been elements of both.


Lost seemingly started off as a show about survivors of a plane crash on a remote island, but by the end of the first episode it was obvious that there was something more mysterious and supernatural going on. Time gets very convoluted by the end of the show, but at least in the beginning you see the characters struggling to survive on the island interspersed with flashbacks of their lives before the crash and what led them to be on the plane that day. Many people got crazy into the mythology of the show and were disappointed that the insane number of questions raised during the show were never explained. Ultimately I found that the writers were really good about writing mysteries in a way that kept me intrigued and was smart enough to know that whatever answers they offered were going to be less than satisfactory. I am actually happier for the questions they never answered as opposed to the answers for the ones they did. At any rate the show was really about the characters for me. The characters are all really well written and I was happy to spend the six seasons of this crazy show with them.


If you don’t like quirk, don’t come anywhere near Wonderfalls because it is full of quirk as are most of Bryan Fuller’s shows (see also Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies). I happen to like quirk and so enjoyed this show. It was canceled by Fox after only four episodes, but you can watch the 13 that were filmed. The storyline does seem to wrap up well enough, so if you hate to be left hanging you needn’t worry about that. The show centers around a girl named Jaye who is underemployed working at a gift shop in Niagara Falls. She begins to receive mysterious instructions from inanimate objects telling her to help specific people in ways she doesn’t understand. Her subsequent actions obviously cause those around her to question her sanity. I thought it was a fun little show, and if you’re into quirky you might too.

Teen Drama

One Tree Hill

As of the writing of this post One Tree Hill is the last big show I finished watching. I wrote about how much I was enjoying it while I was about halfway through its nine season run, so I will mostly just refer you to that post. I still stand by what I wrote there, but will add that I think season 5 of that show is one of my favorite seasons of a tv show ever, though so much of it is payoff for having watching the first four seasons it’s not something I can say just go watch that particular season. Season 9 was awful, but luckily only 13 episodes and still worth watching because the finale really was perfect for the show. Mainly I will reemphasize my point from my initial post on the show and say that many of the plots of ridiculous but the characters and the relationships at the heart of the show are the best.

Tru Calling

This show only ran for 26 episodes and definitely ended on a cliffhanger, and yet I loved watching it so I’m not sorry I did despite the lack of closure. Eliza Dushku stars as a woman named Tru who after beginning a job working in a morgue finds the dead people asking her to save them and then waking up backwards in time on the day of their death where she is supposed to try and prevent their death from happening. The show also stars a young and much skinnier Zach Galifianakis as Tru’s boss in the morgue and a young, but still super hot Matt Bomer as Tru’s first season love interest.

Gilmore Girls

I have so much love for Gilmore Girls despite its problematic final seasons. The show revolves around three generations of Gilmores: the rich, proper society grandparents Richard and Emily, their rebellious daughter Lorelei who got pregnant and ran away from home at 16, and Lorelei’s daughter Rory who I believe is 15 when the show starts. Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino the show is smart, funny, heartbreaking, fast-paced and chock full of cultural references. The relationships are really the core of the show though. It’s really mostly supposed to be about the friendship between Rory and Lorelei, but I always found the scenes between Lorelei and Emily to be among my favorite.

Veronica Mars

Ah Veronica Mars, you seems so timely now with all the news of the Kickstarter campaign to raise money to make a Veronica Mars movie. I will admit I am one of the people who squealed with joy and then immediately went and donated when I saw the story. Veronica Mars stars Kristen Bell as a teenage private investigator in the town of Neptune, CA which is split between the rich students and those who are less than well off. Each season revolves around a central mystery in addition to episodic mysteries. Again the characters and the relationships in this show are fantastic, and it is also full of witty dialogue. The show itself was canceled after three seasons and ends on a definite cliffhanger, but perhaps if you are averse to such things you can take heart that a movie may soon tie things up for you.


Everwood is a family drama that essentially focuses on two families in the small town of Everwood, Colorado. Famous surgeon Andy Brown moves his teenage son and young daughter to the town after the death of his wife. Meanwhile the existing town doctor Harold Abbott is none to pleased to have his territory encroached on. He also has a teenage son and daughter that round out the major teenage faction of the show. It’s a sweet, heartfelt show and I really loved watching it.


The Sopranos

I’m pretty sure The Sopranos was the first tv show I ever watched on DVD. I watched most of it’s run as each season was released on DVD as I didn’t have HBO, in fact I didn’t even have cable, at the time it was broadcast. By the end of its run I was dating my now husband and convinced him to subscribe to HBO for the final season because I was tired of being spoiled about everything that happened before I got to watch it. That of course led to us never getting rid of HBO and adopting many more shows on it and Showtime so that we can never go back. The show itself revolves around Tony Soprano who is a mob boss in New Jersey. In the initial episodes he finds himself seeking out therapy after experiencing panic attacks, so much of the show revolves around the relationship between him and his therapist in addition to his family and fellow mobsters.

Six Feet Under

Following The Sopranos I’m pretty sure Six Feet Under was the second show I started watching on DVD. The series follows the Fischer family over five seasons. The backdrop of the show is the family run funeral home though it’s really a character driven drama. The show had its ups and downs, but it by far has the best closing sequence of any show I have ever seen. I almost hate to say that at this point because so many people say that and now I’m worried that it will wind up being one of those things that will never live up to the expectations for anyone who watches it at this point. I can’t stop myself from saying it though because it’s true.

The Wire

Seriously I don’t know what is wrong with me. I almost posted this without including The Wire. I need to have my head examined, especially since I live in Baltimore where the show is set and even these many years since it’s been off the air we still can’t stop talking about how the city is or is not like it’s portrayed on this show. Although I love to binge watch tv anyway, I think that The Wire is one show that absolutely benefits from the ability to plow through a number of episodes back to back. This show is an amazing novel-like ode to the city of Baltimore. Written by former Baltimore Sun reporter David Simon, this show does not spoon feed you in any way. It jumps right into the action and it will take you a number of episodes to figure out what is even going on each season, which is why not having to wait a week to watch the next one is really beneficial. Some of the characters carry over through all five seasons, but each season also changes its main focus and introduces a bunch of new characters and plotlines, which is why you feel like you’re being thrown into the deep end at the beginning of each season. The first season revolves around the police and the Baltimore drug trade which is always a pervasive storyline throughout the series, the second season moves us to the docks in Baltimore and the dying of that trade, the third season focuses on City Hall and a mayoral campaign, the fourth season focuses on Baltimore City schools, and the fifth season focuses on the media specifically the Baltimore Sun. It’s an amazing show and one I highly recommend you watch if you haven’t already.

Big Love

Big Love is again a show that sort of lots its way by the end of its five season run, but overall I think it’s still worth watching. The show revolves around the Henrickson family, who are fundamentalist Mormons practicing polygamy in Utah. Bill and his three wives and their children try to live normal suburban lives while still constantly finding themselves entangled in the fundamentalist compound Bill escaped from and whose prophet is the father of Bill’s second wife.

The (Im)Perfect Sunny Day Driving Song

Spring has finally sprung in Baltimore. Well if you want to get technical we seem to have bypassed spring and jumped right from winter to summer as is too often the case around these parts. At any rate the rise of warm weather always makes me want to drive around with the windows down. To set the mood requires the appropriate driving around with the windows down music. What that music happens to be can change on any given day. Sometimes it’s upbeat and hip hoppy, a lot of times its upbeat and country because country music always seems much more relevant when it’s hot outside, and sometimes it’s kind of chill.

One song that fits the latter category that has been one of my favorite go-to driving songs over the past couple of years is Amos Lee’s Windows Are Rolled Down. Yes, I know it’s probably a little too on the nose at least title wise anyway. The music provides the perfect folky, chill atmosphere that reminds me of a long road trip. I don’t really take many road trips these days but I miss them sometimes. Now even when I do I’m with my husband and we tend to listen to audio books and podcasts as opposed to music because we don’t so much agree on that. He’s totally ruining my road trip mojo. However, if I was making myself a road trip playlist this song would definitely be on it. The song of course is really imperfect though because it’s actually a horribly depressing song if you listen to the lyrics. I choose to ignore them though and focus on the music and the “windows are rolled down” part of the song, so only in my head it becomes the perfect sunny day driving song.


My friend Kristen turns 30 today and last night her husband and her sister organized a surprise party for her. It was kind of a reverse surprise party from what I’ve ever been involved with in that instead of getting her out of the house to a party somewhere else or getting her out of the house to then return to the party the party came to her instead. Most of the party attendees met up at the elementary school playground around the corner from their house and then all showed up at their door to yell surprise and get the party started. I was one of the appointed drop by early guests.

Kristen had invited me out earlier in the week and then texted me yesterday to let me know the plans. I texted back that I actually wound up making other plans but I wanted to drop by a present for her on my way by. So my husband and I went over to ostensibly drop off a present while carrying the food and beer we were bringing to the party which we were supposedly taking with us to our other friends’ house. My food contribution to the party was these 30 cookies.

2013-04-06 11.54.13

It was a fun night hanging with friends and playing with a couple of crazy almost 3 year olds. They are rather hysterical. Sadly both of their families will be moving away this summer, so I’ll have to enjoy their fun while I still can.





If I Loved You by Delta Rae

My newest musical love comes from the North Carolina based band Delta Rae. I will even forgive the fact that multiple band members are Duke alumni. The song I’m loving is their new single “If I Loved You”. Despite the kind of upbeat tone of the music, the lyrics are all about a woman who has a wonderful man in her life who would make a great companion except that she’s just not in love with him. I adore songs that have a juxtaposition of musical tone and lyrics and this is a great example. Now excuse me while I go and listen to this on repeat a few more times.


The One Where My Friends Move Closer to Me

This is a bit delayed since I found this information out last Thursday but the happiness remains so I thought I would write about it. One of my best friends from college let me know that she will at least temporarily be moving much closer to me. She is going to be attending grad school at George Mason starting in the fall, which means she, her husband, and their newborn daughter will be moving to the DC area. That means she’ll be only about an hour or so away from me. Currently she lives in Augusta, Georgia. Let me tell you there is no good way to get to Augusta meaning I only managed to visit once while they were there, so this is very happy news indeed.

I know that the move is only for a couple years since as soon as she is done with school they’ll be moving to New York for her to teach at West Point. Of course West Point is actually a reasonable driving distance from Baltimore, so I will hopefully still get to see her more often than I did while she was in Augusta. If nothing else it will be fun having her around for the next few years and also getting to share in the first few years of her daughter’s life in person rather than just through online photos.

Granted I was excited when one of my other college friends moved to the DC area and I have seen her only twice since she arrived, and we also see other DC area friends rarely at best so perhaps my excitement is misguided. Or perhaps I just need to make a more concerted effort to go south and see friends in that direction. Now that many of my Baltimore friends have left the city and moved out to the ‘burbs of the ‘burbs north of Baltimore they’re not that much closer than DC and yet I see them much more frequently. So you know, stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of this adventure to see if I actually do see my friend any more frequently once she is living in such close proximity.

(Also please do not play a drinking game in which you drink every time I use the word so in this post as it may cause you bodily harm. Let’s just say I’m aware of the problem and don’t feel like fixing it. This is why I don’t get paid to write things.)