Last Week Delight 11/15/2022

  • Our washer died about a week and half ago. It was 18 years old and my husband had already fixed a couple of things on it previously. He started to suggest buying another part, but when he told me that he wasn’t sure which part he actually needed and how much they cost I told him it was time just to get a new washer. Although I was not excited about having to buy a new washer and throwing in a new dryer because it made sense to just go ahead and replace them both, luckily it happened at the perfect time. I looked at the reviews in Wirecutter and Consumer Reports and the top pick in the Wirecutter was tied for top rating in Consumer Reports, so that seemed like an easy choice. Then when I went to research how much it cost and where we could buy it from I discovered that there must be a manufacturer sale because every site had it on a significant sale for a few more days. So perfect timing. We picked Home Depot because they could get it to us soonest. Now we have a fancy new washer and dryer.
  • While I am not a fan of the fact that it gets dark so early now, I do like that it means I now get to be a creeper on my evening walk after work. I don’t know if people don’t know or don’t care that people can see straight into their houses when they have no curtains or shades drawn, it’s dark outside, and their lights are on. I live in a neighborhood of rowhouses. Everyone’s windows are pretty much right there at eye level with you on the sidewalk. I’m shocked by how many people near me don’t cover up their windows. But it means that I can spy on what the inside of people’s houses look like, which I enjoy. I swear I’m not stalking anyone or even trying to see what they’re doing inside their houses. I just like to look at how their houses are set up.
  • Last February we went away for President’s Day weekend with some friends. They brought some bagels from a place near them in DC. One of the flavors they had was za’atar. I’ve literally been dreaming about those bagels since that trip. I finally decided to try my hand at making my own. The ones I made are fine. I don’t love the base bagel recipe I used. It’s not as good as one I’ve used in the past, so I’ll try again. I ordered the za’atar from somewhere on Amazon that sold it in multiple sizes. I accidentally bought a way bigger bag than I meant to, so the good news is I have plenty of za’atar to try and perfect my za’atar bagels with.
  • The play Ain’t No Mo’ is getting ready to open on Broadway. Interestingly there is also a production of that play currently running in Baltimore at Center Stage. My husband and I went to see the Center Stage production this past weekend. Prior to the pandemic a friend and I were long time season ticket holders to Center Stage and I can say that this was the most diverse audience both in age and race that I’ve been in there. So it seems like their goal of drawing in an audience more representative of the city and not just a bunch of white senior citizens is working at least to some degree. My friend and I went to see Our Town earlier this season and despite the mostly Black cast and Baltimore themed set, our audience was still mostly old, white people. I really enjoyed the show, though I imagine it has offended a number of people as well. I was not at all surprised that a couple people walked out of my show in the middle, but I was surprised that none of them were old, white people who were surely there because the show was part of their season package.

And now I have several musical delights for you this week.

  • About a decade ago there was a version of the Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter” going around the internet in which it was just Merry Clayton’s isolated background vocals from the song. I know it was a decade ago because I referred to it on this very blog back in 2013 while writing a review of the excellent movie 20 Feet from Stardom. For some reason that isolated vocal and the great story about Merry Clayton recording that song were going around the internet again this past week. Iw as happy to encounter it again because her voice is amazing and the story is fun. Here’s a clip from the movie that includes the story and a snippet of the isolated vocal.
  • I was listening to an episode of NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast last week where they were talking about songs that make you happy on my walk one morning. Then on my drive to work shortly after that I heard the song “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World. They did not in fact talk about that song during the podcast, but upon hearing it I was like this song perfectly fits what they were talking about. Who isn’t happy listening to a very jaunty tune trying to build you up with its lyrics. I mean don’t always listen to that song when I hear it. Much to the chagrin of one my friends whose favorite song is “The Middle”, I sometimes turn the radio channel when I hear it. But that morning it felt absolutely perfect.
  • Finally, I don’t really have a story to go along with the song “Left of Center” by Suzanne Vega, but it’s a song I really like that I don’t hear very often. I heard it this week though and it brought me joy, so now I share that joy with you.

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