My Most Memorable Pop Culture of 2022

It is once again time to take a look back at the pop culture that I found to be most memorable in the past year. As a reminder, this is not a best of list. It’s things that I enjoyed the most or were most meaningful to me even if they are not necessarily what I would consider the best. Also, it includes the things that I consumed during 2022 even if they didn’t come out this year.

Movie I Saw in a Theater

I finally returned to an actual movie theater to watch a movie for the first time since the pandemic started. My movie going is still way down from the before times, but I have two whole movies to choose from in this category. Although I did enjoy Spoiler Alert, Top Gun: Maverick is the clear winner here. I had been looking forward to this movie since before the pandemic, and it was the first movie that I even considered going to a theater to see. That alone makes it memorable. I also really did love it even though the story itself is pretty lame and the characters are not really developed at all. The nostalgia and the effects made up for all that and made it a super fun movie to watch and one I definitely felt needed to be seen on the big screen.

Movie I Watched at Home

I wasn’t sure what movie I was going to include in this category this year. I watched a number of movies at home, but none of them were really standing out for me. Luckily Glass Onion came along right at the end of the year to slot into this category. I very much enjoyed Knives Out, so was excited to see this sequel. It was also a lot of fun. I think it would have been slightly better to have watched it with an audience in a theater, but I still liked it a lot.

Fiction Book

I read a lot of middling books this year, but I rated two fiction books 5 stars on Goodreads. The first was Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan. I loved this book and could not put it down. The whole thing was great, but it also had one of the most jaw dropping moments I can ever recall reading in a book that just added to its greatness for me. The second book was Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. It was one of the last books I read this year. I’ve had a galley copy of it forever and finally decided to read it when I saw this book popping up on all the best of 2022 lists. I’m so glad I did. This was another book I did not want to put down. I loved these characters and the world that was created for them. It’s the book I want to tell everyone to read this year.

Non-Fiction Book

Unlike last year where I shared like 10 super depressing books in this category, I have two non-depressing books to share here this year. Back in February I read Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights. This book of essays is what inspired my weekly delights posts, so it was certainly influential in my life. The second book was An Immense World by Ed Yong. He explores the world of animal senses. It’s entirely fascinating.

TV Show

As always I watched a lot of TV in 2022. Two of my favorite shows of the year were returning shows that were both produced by Mindy Kaling, Never Have I Ever and Sex Lives of College Girls. I love both of these shows that are smart, funny, romantic, and not afraid to let their characters get messy and get called out on it. I’m happy I’ll have more of both in 2023. I also loved From Cradle to the Stage, which is a documentary series with Dave Grohl and his mother talking with the mothers of other musical artists about their lives and careers. A must watch for music lovers. The show Maid was also a real stand out for me this year. It’s extremely realistic, which made it one of the most stressful shows I have ever watched.

TV Episode

It took me awhile to come up with something for this category. For awhile I was going to go with the episode of the Umbrella Academy that features the Footloose dance off, but that was more of a favorite moment because I don’t really remember anything else from that episode. I feel like part of the problem is that aside from procedurals, which I don’t watch, television is not very episodic anymore. It’s made to be one long story broken into chunks, which makes each individual episode harder to remember apart from the whole. So it makes sense that the episode I finally settled on was from a reality show, which is also a genre that is still episodic. I eventually remembered season 5, episode 8 of The Great Pottery Throw Down. I don’t know why this particular group of contestants stick in my mind, but they do. Once I watch a competition show the contestants pretty much leave my mind as soon as the season is over. Like every time they bring people back for the holiday episodes of Great British Bake Off I’m like who was this person again? On this particular episode the potters had to make a sculpture that represented themselves. Christine, who was one of my favorite contestants of the season, who had recovered from breast cancer made a sculpture that represented that and it was extremely meaningful and had all the people on the show and me in tears.


Second Nature by Lucius

This album is largely about the divorce of Jess Wolfe from the band’s drummer Dan Molad. It’s the perfect blend of super upbeat songs with depressing lyrics like “Dance Around It” and heartbreaking ballads like “The Man I’ll Never Find”.

Farm to Table by Bartees Strange

This album was released to huge critical acclaim, so I was convinced that it would show up on all the best of lists at the end of the year. Then it didn’t, and I was shocked. It did top WXPN’s best of list, and I saw it one or two other places, but largely it was absent. It’s making mine though. After a couple singles from his first album and this one that didn’t immediately draw me in, I almost missed it, but the song “Mulholland Drive” made me give Bartees Strange and this album a second look, and I’m very glad I did.

Take It Like a Man by Amanda Shires

This album was the opposite of Farm to Table in that I din’t expect to see it on any best of lists and yet it showed up in a number of places. I don’t dispute it. It’s definitely Amanda Shires’ best album so far in my opinion.


This is a weird album for me in that I sort of forget about it. If I hadn’t bought it on vinyl it probably would have fallen off my radar pretty quickly. I couldn’t even name you a specific song off of it, and yet every time I put it on I’m like this album is amazing and feels like it was made just for me. I don’t know how to reconcile those two things, but it certainly makes the album memorable in some way to me.


It’s a little weird that two of my favorite songs of the year are by Beyonce and Taylor Swift given that I generally don’t care for either of them. But I cannot deny how catchy “Anti-Hero” is. I will probably hate it in another month after it’s been played to death and I get tired of hearing people say “It’s Me. Hi. I’m the Problem. It’s Me.”, but for now I still think it’s a fun meme and kudos to Taylor for coming up with really one of the most memeable lyrics of all time. Beyonce’s “Break My Soul” came out at the perfect time. It felt like the summer anthem we all needed.

I would be remiss to not mention Kate Bush’s “Running Up that Hill”. I have always loved that song, so I was extremely delighted to see it have such a moment in 2022. It’s rare for a song that old to reenter the zeitgeist to that extent. I still love it just as much as I always did even after hearing it eleventy billion times this year.

I also adored the song “You’re Not Alone” by Allison Russell and Brandi Carlile. I loved the original version of the song, but I like that it got a little more recognition and another trip around the sun in 2022 with this remake adding in Brandi. I was very happy to hear it every time it came on the radio.

I also adore the song “Lonely Nights” by Cecilia Castleman. It’s like the perfect chill vibe song that feels like it was made in a bottle just for me.


2022 was the year I finally really went back to concerts. Not fully, but enough to feel almost normal. I didn’t hesitate to go to outdoor shows other than a couple times I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize vacations. I was still more reluctant to go to indoor concerts and sat out a lot of those, but I did even venture out to a couple of shows inside. I have so many wonderful concerts from this year, it’s almost like I could name them all. It was just so wonderful to be able to enjoy live music again. Aside from being a wonderful show Allison Russell with Keyshona opening at the Barns at Wolf Trap was the most memorable because it was my first indoor concert. Brandi Carlile with the Indigo Girls and Allison Russell at Merriweather was just pure joy and felt like a mini Lilith Fair. Mary Chapin Carpenter and Emmylou Harris at Wolf Trap was just the perfect chill summer outdoor concert. Tears for Fears was wonderful. I got to hear “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, which is one of my all time favorite songs live for the first time, and I will never forget their interaction with the 12 year old girl in the front row who will probably never experience the thrill of that concert for the rest of her life. The Killers at Capitol One Arena was my first big indoor concert and the first with literally no COVID precautions in place, so it was a big deal that I stepped out of my comfort zone and went. It was one of those shows that remind you what his so special about live music with the crowd just completely in sync singing and dancing. I had the perfect vantage point to look out over the sea of people in the arena and it was a joy to behold.

Online Concert

I do like that to some degree online concerts have continued with bands often streaming the final show of a tour since they know it won’t eat into their in person ticket sales. I still watched a few of those this year. I loved watching Brandi Carlile at the Gorge with Lucius and Sarah McLachlan. Honestly Sarah McLachlan was my favorite part of that show. It reminded me how much I loved her music once upon a time and made me want to see her in concert again.

Broadway Theatre Production

I finally made it back to Broadway in 2022! I saw four shows total over two different trips. I saw Company, Music Man, Take Me Out, and A Strange Loop. Company was definitely the stand out for me. This revival in which the roles are gender switched was the first show I ever considered flying to London to see, since it opened in the West End first and it was unclear if it would move to Broadway. Thankfully it did and came back after COVID. I thought the staging was great, the gender flipping is really the only way this show works in 2022, and it meant I finally got to see Patti Lupone perform live.

Baltimore Theatre Production

I also saw some theatre in Baltimore this year as well. We did skip most of the shows we had season tickets for at the Hippodrome only seeing Pretty Woman and Hamilton out of the 7 shows in our package. We’ve also gone to a couple shows in the new season, but Tina! and Jagged Little Pill were nothing to speak of. My friend and I have not renewed our season tickets at Center Stage since the pandemic, but I did see a couple of shows there. I finally saw Our Town for the first time ever. My favorite of the shows was Ain’t No Mo’, which interestingly had a production happening in Baltimore at the same time a production of it was opening on Broadway.


Make Me Smart

I choose what podcasts go into this category by where they fall in my listening order when new episodes are available. Make Me Smart is still the reigning champ. I wasn’t sure how this year was going to be since Molly Wood, one of the original co-hosts left at the end of the last year. I still miss her energy and the specific rapport she had with Kai Rysdaal the other co-host. However, I really do like Kimberly Adamas as the new co-host. She brings a different sensibility to the show, but I really appreciate the smart questions she asks and how she will often pause to take a step back and remind Kai and herself to put things in context for the listeners who may not be as steeped in the topic they’re discussing as they are as journalists covering it.

Drama Queens

I am also still loving the Drama Queens podcasts, which is the One Tree Hill rewatch podcast hosted by the shows three fmale leads. It’s perfect because it drops on Monday mornings, which is the morning when I don’t have a new episode of Make Me Smart to listen to.

How We Survive

How We Survive is another podcast put out by Marketplace and American Public Media, like Make Me Smart is. It’s hosted by Marketplace reporter Amy Scott. It was a podcast started by Molly Wood before she left Marketplace. I thought it might just die with her when she left, but it continued this year with Amy Scott at the helm. This season was a fascinating look at housing and climate change in Miami. Who knew listening to episodes about insurance could be so interesting (they’re not all about insurance).

The Evolving Faith Podcast

A great podcast for people trying to hold onto their faith when there doesn’t seem to be a reason to.

Podcast Episode

My favorite podcast episode of the year by far was the Switched on Pop episode in which they discuss The Killers. It’s hilarious and I could not stop thinking about it the whole time I was The Killers concert, especially whenever they sang one of the songs discussed in the episode.

Quick Trip to New York

My husband thought he was going to go up to New York for work early in December, so I had been planning on taking advantage of a free hotel room for a night and going up with him and seeing some of the Broadway shows I wanted to see before they close early in the new year. That trip wound up getting nixed, so I was disappointed that I didn’t get to do all the things I had been planning. So after we wound up not going to Boston over Christmas I suggested to my husband that we go up for an overnight trip. We went up on a Wednesday so we could see two shows on Wednesday and then head back first thing the next morning. That helped avoid a lot of traffic and more importantly reduce the insane amount of money we had to pay to park. It’s way more expensive to drive in on a weekday apparently. If we stayed one minute over 24 hours it was going to double our cost. So our goal was to get in and out in under 24 hours.

Although I knew I wanted to see Take Me Out and A Strange Loop, I did not buy tickets ahead of time because there were lots of them available. My plan was to try and get them half price from the TKTS booth, and I figured if I didn’t succeed there would still be plenty of seats open that I could pay full price for. I never wait in the line in Times Square because when we’re staying downtown if we’re there for my husband’s work I used to be able to go to the location at the Seaport, which COVID killed, or up to Lincoln Center where there isn’t usually much of a line. As predicted when we walked by the Times Square location the line was crazy long and would have taken hours to get through. We were going to make our way to Lincoln Center, but I looked at the app and saw that it was closed for some reason. So that was a bummer. We decided it wasn’t worth it to wait in the ridiculously long line and just made our way to the box offices and bought tickets. I don’t know what the discount was for, but the woman at the Take Me Out box office gave us some discount. It was still way more expensive than all the people who did get discounted tickets sitting around us, but I guess time is money and we decided that is not how we wanted to spend our time.

Take Me Out is about a baseball team in which one of the players comes out as gay and stuff that happens after that. There is a lot of nudity in the play with most of it taking place inside the team’s locker room, so you had to put your phone in a locked bag that you kept with you so that you couldn’t take photos. Of course some dumb people didn’t listen and didn’t turn their phones off before putting them in the bag, so there were multiple phones ringing during the show which was annoying. I really liked the play a lot. It was way more humorous than I was expecting and lots of good drama too. It went into previews the week after my friend and I went up to New York back in March, so we missed it then and since it had a limited run like most plays I didn’t think I would get to see it. Then they brought it back for a second run, and I’m really glad I got a chance to see it before it closed again.

I don’t really know how to describe what A Strange Loop is about, so I’m not even going to try. You can look some other summary online if you don’t know and you’re curious. I didn’t like this show as much. I did really like the music, which is one of the reasons I wanted to see it. I had really liked all the songs I had heard from it before going, and that was true during the actual show as well. However, overall I that it was just okay. The story didn’t do a whole lot for me. I’m not sad that I spent the time and money to see it though because I did really want to see it, and I don’t think there is any chance that it is going to tour despite winning the Tony Award for Best Musical because it would for sure offend a lot of people who would just be there because it was part of their season ticket package.

My husband booked us a room at the Millennium Premiere in Times Square. I would not recommend this hotel. We had to move to three different rooms for various reasons and the last one had issues too, but we didn’t realize until late because we were out and I doubt they would have been able to move us again anyway. The first room may have been fine except when we used the key to unlock the door and walked in there were already other people in that room. I’m not entirely surprised, since I don’t understand what the back end of their booking system looks like, but the two people working seemed to be struggling to find people open rooms at check in time and were telling each other room numbers not to use because they were going to use them. So I’m not entirely surprised that they double booked a room. Aside from that error I really don’t have anything bad to say about the staff as they tried to rectify all the issues and immediately brought us to the front of the line every time they saw us show back up in the lobby. After the first room they didn’t have any open rooms with king beds, which is what we booked. So they removed the resort fee from our charges since we only got a queen bed. However, when we went to that room something was clearly very wrong with the AC system as the thermostat was set at 65 and the room was 91 degrees. That was not at all tenable, so we went right back down and they found a third room for us and gave us a box of chocolate as an apology. That one seemed fine, but before bed we were getting chilly and that room had the opposite problem in that when I went to turn the heat up it wouldn’t turn on and there was something on the thermostat that said service. It wasn’t so cold that it was intolerable, but colder than I would have wanted it. Since we were only there for the night and we had already had so much drama I just threw my hoodie on over my pjs and I was mostly fine. They did also have a free to-go breakfast that had a lot of food in it, though we went to get bagels so I didn’t eat it.

We headed out pretty early, but before we left we walked down to Penn Station so I could get a black and white cookie from Zaro’s. When we take the train up I would always get a cookie to eat on the train home. Since COVID happened I have been up once and my husband has been up once separately from each other and both of us drove, so we each grabbed me a black and white cookie from somewhere else. They were both terrible. So to avoid the disappointment of another terrible, no good, very bad, black and white cookie I went to the source where I knew I would get a good one. There’s also a bagel place near Penn Station that I know I can get good bagels at, so it was easy to accomplish my two food goals right near each other.

It was a fun, quick trip and I’m glad we were able to make it happen.

Last Week Delight 12/26/2022

I have one last delights post for you in 2022. It’s hard to believe that the next time I write one of these will be a new year.

  • I saw a woman out walking the other day while reading a book. I love to read, but I have never been someone who walks and reads at the same time. I honestly don’t know how people do it. I would especially be wary about doing it around where I live because the sidewalks are all old and uneven from years of tree roots and bad weather. I definitely appreciate someone who is so engrossed in their book that they can’t stop reading it even while they’re walking somewhere.
  • In my previous post about the TV shows we’ve been watching I mentioned that we were watching an Italian show on Netflix called I Hate Christmas. It’s 6 episodes long and 6 days out from Christmas my husband put it on and was like we have to watch one episode a night to countdown to Christmas. He was very pleased with himself over this arrangement. It amused me.
  • I’m on break from work until January 3. It’s one of the great benefits of working in academia that I always get the week between Christmas and New Year’s off. Not only is it great to have the time off to rest and relax, it’s also really nice that everyone else has it off too so that when I go back I won’t be walking back into 500 emails and a millions tasks that piled up while I was gone because everyone else was still working.
  • For the third year in a row we unfortunately did not see my family at Christmas. However, this year was much better than the last two because my husband and I didn’t spend the holidays alone. I got to go to my church’s Christmas Eve service. Then we went over to my husband’s younger sister’s house to spend Christmas Eve with her family. We ate delicious steak and lobster and taught my niece and nephew how to play Clue. Then on Christmas Day we went to down northern Virginia to see his other sister. It wasn’t what we originally planned, but our last minute plans came together nicely and made for a good holiday.
  • While we were there my niece and nephew opened the Christmas gifts that we gave them. My niece was very excited about the 40 oz insulated travel mug we gave her. The thing is ridiculously large. She will definitely be well hydrated in 2023. Granted, it’s something she told us she wanted, so it’s not like we are these brilliant gift giving geniuses, and her delight over this particular gift may have been supplanted by all the other gifts she got the next morning, but I did very much her enthusiasm over this mug.
  • One things I have enjoyed about not traveling on Christmas for the last few years like we normally do is making these Cranberry Orange rolls to eat for breakfast on Christmas morning. I did get a little laugh when I pulled up the recipe this year and noticed the note they had added to it last year with substitutions for the cream cheese in it due to the cream cheese shortage. I had totally forgotten about that particular crazy shortage.
  • One of my friends texted me on Christmas morning to tell me about how her mother’s neighbor got their daughter a miniature horse for Christmas and they brought it over to meet them. The best part is the horse’s name is Cheez-It! I didn’t even meet the horse and I was delighted about the existence of this horse all day. In fact I still am. Cheez-It!

TV Diary

Getting in one final TV Diary post before the end of the year, so that I’ve written about everything I’ve watched or started watching this year before I write my most memorable pop-culture post next week, not that (spoiler alert) any of these shows are showing up on it.

The Recruit

The Recruit is a new show on Netflix. We’re only a few episodes into it so far, but I’m very much enjoying it. I saw a lot of tv critics comparing it to the show USA used to produce like White Collar, Covert Affairs, and Burn Notice. I loved those shows and miss that sort of episodic tv that also had a good season long story arc you were following as well. I get the comparison, though this show is less episodic than those were. From what I’ve seen so far it’s got good action and some decent humor. I do find it a little ridiculous how his co-workers are out to get him from the second he starts the job, but overall it’s a light, fun show.

I Hate Christmas

I am also only halfway through the Netflix show I Hate Christmas, but I already know exactly what is going to happen because this Italian show is a remake of the Norwegian show Home For Christmas, which we watched the previous two Christmas seasons. I think this is the first time I have ever watched a foreign show that is a remake of another foreign show that I’ve previously watched. This version is set in Venice and pretty much has the same plot lines of a woman who makes up a boyfriend because she is tired of her family giving her a hard time about being single and now she has 25 days to find someone to bring home to Christmas. I really liked the original series, and I’m enjoying this one as well. The Norwegian show had two seasons, so I’ll be curious to see if this has another season next year.

So Help Me Todd

Skylar Astin plays a sort of screw-up who lost his PI license and now is trying to get it back while working for his mother played by Marcia Gay Harden at her law firm. He’s always trying to push the boundaries. It’s mostly a procedural. There’s a case of the week and not really any overarching plot aside from his relationship with his family and his ex who also works at the law firm. It’s unfortunate that he has better chemistry with the actress playing his sister than he does with the actress playing his ex who we are obviously supposed to be rooting to get back together. I have literally fallen asleep watching every single episode until the last one of 2022. I have enjoyed it well enough to go back and rewatch it the next day, but it’s also not something I’m going to be crying in cereal about if it doesn’t get another season.


It’s me. Hi. I’m the middle aged woman with no children watching a TV show designed for pre-schoolers. I have heard any number of adults talk about how good this show is. Most of them had kids. Some tv critics who have extolled it have kids but none of the age who would have ever watched this show, so it obviously does appeal to adults. I can’t even exactly put my finger on why. It’s very simple animation. It does have heart to it. I think if I did actually have kids I would want to ban them from watching it for the simple fact that it has to create unrealistic expectations for kids about how their parents should just drop whatever they are doing to play with them at all times. The episodes are only 7 minutes long, so it’s a nice quick hit of sweetness.

Fresh Off the Boat

I’ve been watching Fresh Off the Boat on and off for much of this year. I’m just starting the final season. I’ve definitely slowed down in my watching the last couple of seasons. It’s not that it’s gotten bad as much as it’s just gotten rote. It feels like all the jokes and stories are just super repetitive at this point. I’ll finish it, but the early seasons are much better. I also liked the kids better when they were younger. It’s a pretty decent sit-com though.


I gather that Wednesday was a gigantic hit for Netflix and that lots of people really love it. I thought it was fine. I think Julia Ortega is very good in the role. I just didn’t get super into the show overall. I’m sure there will be additional seasons because it was so popular. I’ll probably keep watching it if there are.

Gadget Man

We previously watched and really liked the show Travel Man in which Richard Ayoade traveled to various countries accompanied by another comedian. I don’t think that show is available streaming in the United States anymore, and I’m not sure that we were even able to watch all of Richard Ayoade’s seasons of it. I gather it’s still being filmed with a new host, but again not available here so I don’t know how it is with the new host. Anyway, we recently discovered that some, but not all (and not even consecutively numbered seasons) of Ayoade’s show previous to Travel Man called Gadget Man are available on Amazon Prime. So we’ve been watching them. It’s definitely not as good as Travel Man, but it has some of the same-ish structure and sense of humor so it’s a quick sort of trifle of a show to watch when we want something less than a half hour.

Fleishman is in Trouble

I should probably wait to write about this show until I’ve seen the rest of the season or I guess even the episode that dropped today given how many critics put in on their favorite episode list before it even aired. Maybe it will completely the turn the show around for me to, and I’ll understand why everyone seems to be in love with it. That is except for the one critic who called it boring. That’s pretty much my assessment of it. I’m bored. I read the book. I really liked the book. I am completely and utterly bored with this adaptation of it. Even my annoyance at the characters doesn’t rise to enough of a level to overcome the boredom.

Quantum Leap

I never watched the original Quantum Leap. I was at the completely wrong age for it when it aired. We have been watching the reboot, but I’m mostly just sitting in the room while my husband watches it. I don’t really care about it at all as evidenced by the fact that I have never gone back and rewatched any of the episodes that I’ve fallen asleep during. I’ve never been super into procedurals. This does have some sort of overarching plotline, but it feels completely inconsequential because the show is over if Sam dies or they figure out how to make him quit leaping, so it has no stakes and I don’t care about it. I will probably eventually quit even bothering to be in the room if my husband wants to keep watching it.

Last Week Delight 12/19/2022

I don’t have a ton of delights this week. It’s been a rough few days culminating in me once again not spending Christmas with my family. I am so tired of missing out on things and feeling like I live in this weird alternate reality where everyone else enjoys life as if COVID no longer exists and my health concerns keep me trapped. In some ways things have gotten a little better in that I’ve decided that for mental health I at least have to up my risk tolerance to include things I can do masked even if no one else is, but that still leaves out a ton of things because you really don’t realize how much of social life revolves around food and drink until you don’t want to be maskless in public. In other ways it’s worse because I feel completely alone in this now as everyone else has gone back to living normal lives, and in the past there has always been some hope that some vaccine, some treatment, some wave is going to signal not an end but at least the low case numbers that make it more reasonable for me to let my guard down a little. There is no hope on the horizon anymore. This is it. Probably for a good long time. I read something recently that was talking about for most part for most people with vaccination and previous infection COVID is not that much of a risk anymore, but for the people who it’s still a risk for it’s bad. It’s hard to know exactly where I fall in that. I’m worse off than people without multiple autoimmune disorders and on a bunch of immunosuppressants, but better off than people who didn’t mount any immune response to the vaccines because I know I did. It’s hard to know how much of an issue long COVID is at this point, and I do know that getting COVID puts me at a much bigger risk of sending my Crohn’s or arthritis into a flare. The thought of that alone makes me want to continue to avoid COVID even when I feel insane. Anyway, none of this is what we’re here for. So let’s see what good things we could find in the week.

  • I like eggnog. It’s terrible for you, so I usually allow myself one half gallon a year. I’ve been drinking that with some ginger cookies I made, and it’s the perfect combination. I am cheating a little this year because I made an eggnog cheesecake for our work holiday party last week and bought a second container because of that. It used way less eggnog than I thought it would, so now I have a lot more eggnog to drink.
  • Speaking of our work holiday party, we were encouraged to dress festively. I have this dinosaur sweater that is not strictly a Christmas sweater, but the pattern on it is Christmasy enough that people assume it is. I wore that and surprisingly 3 of the around 25 people there were wearing dinosaur themed Christmas attire. Who knew dinosaurs and Christmas were such a thing.
  • There is a hot dog place around the corner from house that opened sometime in the past year. I haven’t eaten there because hot dogs are really terrible for you, and I don’t like them enough in general to justify eating one. I do enjoy an occasional hot dog on a grill at a bbq, but if I’m getting food from a restaurant I am never going to choose a hot dog. I don’t even get them at baseball games. Anyway, as I was walking by the hot dog restaurant the other day some woman was coming out and started loudly exclaiming to me and all the other people on the sidewalk near me how amazing the hot dogs there are and we should all go get one. I appreciated her enthusiasm and am glad she enjoyed her lunch even though I will probably never follow her advice.
  • I really should have played the lottery earlier this year when it was up to crazy levels because I feel like I have been extra lucky at winning things this year. I already won tickets to the Shriver Hall concert series and a Courtney Marie Andrews album with a hand painted cover earlier this year. This past week I won tickets to see Dawes in concert in DC in March. I had been debating buying tickets because I really like Dawes, but I also really hate driving to DC for concerts. So I was just sort of waiting to see how I felt closer to the date and if it wasn’t sold out I might go. Then I saw that a local radio station was doing a Tixmas giveaway. They had a handful of concerts you could choose from to try and win, but you could only choose one. I already have tickets to the Maggie Rogers concert that would have been my first choice, so I figured I would try for the Dawes tickets and if I won then my decision was made for me. I got an email that I won over the weekend. So yay!
  • I was out for a walk yesterday and an old timey fire truck from the Fire Museum of Maryland drove by with a guy dressed as Santa Claus hanging out the window and waving to people. He waved at me and it brought a moment of pure joy.
  • And we’ll end with a little Christmas music for you. I wrote about Hiss Golden Messenger’s new Christmas album when it came out last year for one of my New Music Friday posts. I still stand by everything I said. And I’m going to leave you with the exact same song from it. I know it’s only been a year, so I can’t say for sure that it will have staying power forever, but for now it has quickly become one of my favorite Christmas albums. It was the first Christmas album I played this year. It doesn’t hurt that the colored vinyl is my favorite of all the colored vinyl that I own too. It’s sort of this cream color with red and green splotches on it that sort of look like Christmas lights. I love it.

Last Week Delight 12/13/2022

  • Last week after two years I finally got to return to doing my job and only my job. Since December 2020 I have been doing at least two people’s, sometimes as many as four people’s, jobs at the same time. We finally have the other three positions filled, so now the only responsibilities I have on my plate are the ones I should have.
  • If you follow me on social media you already saw me share this, but this article from the Washington Post, “Your Gift Guide to the General Services Administration Auction Website” has brought me much delight in the past week. It’s really just chef’s kiss from top to bottom. It was one of those things where my husband pretty much had to listen to me read the whole thing to him because I kept finding things so amusing that I wanted to share them.
  • There’s a block in my neighborhood that does a big Christmas lights display every year. I very much appreciate that it makes my neighborhood Baltimore’s Christmas central, especially since we added a parking pad and I don’t have to search for street parking during December. I was out for a walk after work the other night and crossed that block on my route and there were lots of families with young kids walking to see the lights, and I loved seeing the little kids eyes light up as they got to the block and spied the lights for the first time. It was actually featured on the Today Show last week. The segment itself is not that exciting because it was filmed in the morning so you can’t even really see the lights. They were looking for people to be in the shot though and asked you to be there an hour ahead of when the segment was supposed to be on air. I thought about it, but then it was raining and I didn’t want to stand outside in the rain that long.
  • I thought I was going to tag along to New York City last Friday while my husband went up for work, but then his work plans got squashed by higher ups so he didn’t go and thus I did not go because hotels are insane in New York in December. It was a much better plan when his work was going to pay for that part of the trip. Anyway, I had already taken the vacation day when I found out we weren’t going anywhere, but I decided to go ahead and keep it. It was a nice break from work. I baked lots of cookies, and it really helped my weekend feel nice and long. I did just want to drive right into Christmas break though and not go back to work this week.
  • Since we won’t be home for Christmas, my sister-in-law came up from Virginia for the day with her puppy. I was a little worried about how my old lady cat would react to a crazy puppy. The answer was they amusingly barely even noticed each other. The puppy was much less crazy than when we last saw him February. The cat had been lying on the couch when they came in and disappeared at some point, so we assumed she went down to the basement to avoid the visitors, but when I went looking for her a couple hours later to give her food I could not find her. My husband and I were completely flummoxed as to where she could have gone. My husband finally found her sleeping in the cardboard box she adopted as her bed that literally sits on the floor next to the love seat we had been sitting in the whole time. Eventually she got out of the box and tried to go back to her spot on the couch. She has little stairs up to the couch because she can’t jump anymore. She got to the top of them and spotted the dog who was sitting in her spot. I wish I had a video of her seeing him and then turning around and giving us a look like what in the world is this. Then she just turned around and went back to her box and that was pretty much their entire interaction.
  • My friend and I went to see the movie Spoiler Alert on Sunday afternoon. We got a private showing because even though the seat map showed that two other seats had been purchased no one else ever came. The movie is a true story based on Michael Ausiello’s memoir about his love story with his husband Kit and Kit’s eventual death from cancer. Michael Ausiello is a tv critic who my friend and I have both been following since his spoilers column at TVGuide, then on to Entertainment Weekly, and finally the website TVLine that he started. I said somethng about us following him for over a decade and she said more like two. That hurt because it doesn’t seem possible it could be that long, but she was right. It was a great movie. The perfect combination of love story, comedy, and tear jerker. As my friend said it’s too bad there are so many people who will miss out on a great movie and story because it’s about a gay couple.
  • What is one of my favorite podcast episodes every year dropped last week, the Holiday Draft episode of the Poscast. The amusing part is that it’s from a podcast I literally only listen to for their holiday draft episode every year. Normally it’s a sports podcast and we have already established I am not into sportsy things, so it’s definitely not a podcast I listen to on a regular basis. However, every December they do a holiday draft episode that is just completely delightful. They have long time guests who have done it every year like TV critic Alan Sepinwall and Linda Holmes from NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, which is how I found it the first year they did it. They seem to add in new people every year. Nick Offerman has been a delightful addition. This year’s episode theme was holiday song lyrics and it was just as wonderful and hilarious as ever. If you were in Baltimore this weekend and saw me walking around cackling this is why. It’s totally worth two hours of your time. In fact, if you haven’t listened to previous year’s draft episodes I recommend going back and starting at the beginning because there are always call backs to previous years that add tothe fun.

And now for your musical delights

As I mentioned in last week’s delights post, WXPN was doing a 90’s A-Z countdown. I heard lots of songs during that countdown that brought back memories or that I just really like and hadn’t heard in a long time, but there were two that stood out that I’m going to share.

  • The first is the “Theme from Jurassic Park”. First of all kudos to them for even including it in the countdown. I don’t like the movie Jurassic Park. I was so mad about everything they changed from the book, most of all how they made Sam Neill’s character hate kids when in the book he adored them because of their love of dinosaurs. However, I always loved the soundtrack. During my sophomore years of high school my biology teacher would put on music when we were working on things like labs or other assignments where she wasn’t lecturing. the Jurassic Park and Last of the Mohicans soundtracks were in heavy rotation. I love both of them and they always take me back to that class.
  • And now that I’m writing this both of my musical choices are centered on my sophomore year of high school because my second song is “These Are Days” by the 10,000 Maniacs, which is a perfect song to be connected to that time of life. It actually starts a little earlier because that song came out during my Freshman year and my birthday present that June was to go see them in concert with a friend. But I attach it to my sophomore year because we had a video yearbook thing that year that featured that song and because of my weirdo high school in Texas gaming the system to have a better pool for varsity football you went to one school for freshman and sophomore years and then two of those schools fed into a school for juniors and seniors. So you sort of graduated from a school after your sophomore year too. This is how I wound up going to three high schools even though we only moved once during that time.

New Music Friday: White Winter Hymnal by Jade Bird

It’s the time of year where new music slows to a trickle. Often I use these last few weeks of the year to follow up on songs that I liked during the year, but that I never wrote about. I don’t even have any of those songs that I feel compelled to write about. That is why I didn’t have a New Music Friday post last week. This week Jade Bird saved me by releasing a cover of Fleet Foxes’ “White Winter Hymnal”. It’s a pretty faithful cover, but it works really well with her voice. So here’s a new winter song for you.

TV Diary

It’s been way too long since I’ve written one of these posts as evidenced by some of the shows I’m going to be writing about. It feels like I watched She-Hulk ages ago. Better late than never I guess.

The Big Brunch

For some reason I wasn’t sold on this show after the first episode, but luckily I kept watching because after that I fell in love with it. It’s a delightful baking show with Dan Levy hosting and judging along with two other people. All the challenges surround having something to do with brunch in some themed way. The contestants are all competing to win $300,000 to further their business plans related to cooking, which are vastly different. You want them all to get the money, but it was especially hard to see the people who had visions for things that are really helping their communities lose. It has such good vibes all the way around.

Welcome to Wrexham

I feel like this documentary about Rob Mcelhenney and Ryan Reynolds buying the Wrexham football club is riding the coattails of people’s love for Ted Lasso, but I still found it enjoyable. I am not a sportsy person. I pretty much never watch actual sports, but I am a huge sucker for sports documentaries or scripted shows where I get to know a lot about the people and all that story is only briefly interrupted by only the most exciting or relevant parts of the actual sporsting matches. This show is perfect for that. Rob and Ryan are fun together and you’ll be cheering for the team and the people of Wrexham.


Mo is a Netflix show about a Palestinian refugee who has been living in Houston with his family as an undocumented immigrant for most of his life. His father died years ago, his adult brother is on the autism spectrum, his mother is still very religious and trying to keep Mo connected to his Muslim heritage, and he’s dating a Mexican Catholic woman against his mother’s wishes. It’s both a funny and heartbreaking show. It’s probably something that has flown under your radar, but I highly recommend watching it.

The Patient

I can’t really say that The Patient was an enjoyable watch because the subject matter is pretty bleak. It’s a well made show starring Steve Carell as a psychiatrist who is kidnapped by one of his patients who it turns out is a serial killer trying to cure himself. There are some interesting twists and turns, and I think it ended the only way it really could. So really good prestige television, yes. A delightful romp, no.


For the most part I have been uninterested in the Marvel TV shows on Disney+ and have watched very few of them. My husband insisted that I at least try this one out. I found it to be a pretty fun show. It’s more sit-com than the other Marvel shows. I enjoy when Marvel stuff is more humorous than serious hence why the Thor movies are my favorite. I’m not mad I watched it, but overall it felt like a trifle, and I didn’t understand their use of Jameela Jamil’s character, who seemed set up to be a sort of big bad nemesis but then wasn’t really. Also, I had a very hard time with the CGI. The She-Hulk version of Jen was atrocious and it bugged me every time she was hulked out.


Reboot is about the cast and writers of a popular 90s sitcom (think ABC TGIF type sitcoms) that is being rebooted. The original writer who is returning, but his daughter who has pitched the reboot as an edgier show is also there and they butt heads over the direction of the show and what’s funny. The original cast is back bringing their own baggage and past relationships with them. It was a pretty good show with an excellent cast. It wasn’t perfect, but I would definitely be happy to see another season.

Partner Track

This was a pretty terrible rom-com type show on Netflix about twentysomething lawyers who are trying to make partner at their terrible law firm while also getting involved romantically with one another. I could not tell any of the white bro male characters apart. I kind of hated all the characters and found it really dumb that the female lead was obsessed with the guy who she slept with once ages ago drunkenly at a wedding while the amazingly awesome boyfriend she has is supposed to be somehow the worst because he’s moving a little fast in their relationship when the other guy is the actual worst. I also did not care about nor could I really follow what was happening with all the law cases that were supposed to be part of the plot. There was a big bombshell at the end of the final episode, but Netflix has saved me from myself in wanting to see what happens next by canceling this show after one season.


I was excited when they announced this sitcom about people working in the last Blockbuster. It’s unfortunate that it is 100% terrible, and I cannot recommend that you watch a single second of it. I cannot in any way defend the fact that we watched all 10 episodes. It is not funny in any way. The characters are all ridiculous caricatures of people, but not in any way that is good. I’m somehow supposed to believe that Melissa Fumero, Randall Park, and J.B. Smoove all went to high school together despite the fact that none of them are remotely close in age to each other and it clearly shows. There’s no chemistry between Randall Park and Melissa Fumero, so I did not care a whit about their forced will they or won’t they relationship. Don’t be dumb like me. Don’t watch this show.

Last Week Delight 12/5/2022

  • Osage oranges are in season. If you’re unfamiliar with them they are large, green gnarly looking balls that smell sort of citrusy, but are not edible. I don’t know if this is common other places, but people who have them in their yards around here seem to like to collect the fruit and line their walkways with them. To the best of my knowledge we don’t have any Osage orange trees on the library’s property but lots of people who live near here do, and last year someone brought a bunch over and lined all the curbs in our parking lot with them. No one has done that this year, but I have seen people lining them up around their yards.
  • Whoever runs the Mr. Trash Wheel Instagram account made a couple of posts putting a Mr. Trash Wheel spin on The Grinch, Elf, and Frosty the Snowman for Giving Tuesday. I found them delightful.
  • Last week was the series finale of the show Queen Sugar. It’s a show that got some occasional press over its 7 seasons for doing groundbreaking things like only ever using women directors, but aside from some early mentions I don’t recall it getting a whole lot of attention from TV critics and it certainly isn’t something that seemed to be part of the television conversation zeitgeist. It’s a shame because it was a really good family drama about a Black family in a small town outside of New Orleans. While I do think it was time for the show to end as the final season felt very wheel spinny and like they didn’t really have a story to tell beyond what they had already done in previous seasons, but I think ultimately it ended well and I was happy to see the return of a character and a relationship that I thought for sure had been written off permanently in season 6. I’m sure it’s streaming somewhere for you to go back and watch. If you like character driven family dramas I can’t recommend it highly enough. Aunt Vi may be one of my favorite TV characters ever.
  • I’ve been following the Wandering Wisemen account on Facebook for years. It’s only ever active during advent, in which the creator using little plastic figurines, presumably from a nativity set, to follow the Wisemen on their journey to find the baby Jesus. I’m impressed with the creator’s ability to find new things to do with them every year. It’s nice to have a joyful, creative post every day during advent.
  • Saturday was my friends’ annual Winter Wonderland party. Unlike most people I’m still being super COVID conscious due to my immunocompromised status, so I don’t do anything inside without a mask on aside from a few small gatherings where people have tested beforehand for me. I was fully prepared to go to the party in a mask like a weirdo and not eat or drink anything inside. Luckily my friends have a nice fire pit area that they’ve built and despite it pouring rain the morning, by the time the party rolled around it was actually perfect fire pit weather. So most of the party wound up being outside anyway. Most people went inside to eat when the food came out, but I just donned my mask, grabbed some food and came back outside with a couple other people. It was really nice that the weather cooperated and I got to enjoy the party mostly normally.
  • Sunday was the annual Mayor’s Christmas Parade in Baltimore, which goes through my neighborhood. Despite it’s name it’s not actually put on by the city. It’s completely funded and scheduled by businesses and fundraising by people in my neighborhood and the adjoining neighborhood. There almost wasn’t a parade this year because somehow Baltimore is really dumb. Despite issuing a permit for the parade way back in July, two weeks before the parade they told the organizers they would have to move the parade (an impossibility, it would just have been canceled) because they didn’t have enough police to staff security at both the parade and Ravens game that was happening at the same time. This parade has happened the first Sunday of December for 49 years, they issued a permit almost 6 months prior and all of a sudden 2 weeks before the city has a problem with it? Ridiculous? Anyway, the City Council people for the two neighborhoods worked with the city to get it resolved after a lot of bad press and the Sheriff’s Office helped staff it this year. I said they should just move the Ravens game. The parade is more important. Anyway, crisis averted. The parade went on as usual. It was even much warmer than I was expecting. They had forecast that it was going to be in the 40s and windy, which sounded not great. But it wasn’t windy at all and it was sunny, so I was perfectly fine until the very end when the sun got low enough that I was in the shade. I did start to get a little chilly at the end, but I stuck it out.

And now for your musical delights

  • I’ve been listening to WXPN’s 90s A-Z countdown (not really a countdown) thing since the beginning of the month. It’s been delightful to rediscover some songs that I completely forgot about or just haven’t heard in a long time. They’re only on the letter M, so you there’s plenty of countdown left to go if you want to listen along online.
  • Interestingly although the two songs I’m sharing this week come from the 90s neither one is related to hearing them on the countdown. Sometimes I come up with songs that delight me for other reasons, but mostly if you haven’t noticed I share older music that I have memories associated with or are just songs that I forgot about but that came back into my life in some way. Both of these songs are no exception. First up is the song “Hole Hearted” by Extreme. I don’t have any particular memories associated with this song other than I liked it. I totally did not remember it but heard it this week and despite not hearing it for probably decades I discovered that all the lyrics are still firmly lodged in my brain. It’s actually a really fun song to sing along to. Then I also have the song “One” by U2, which I also heard recently. I have heard this song lots of times and did not forget that it exists, but all these many years later every time I hear it I still think about the time in middle school that one my friends told me that a guy told her he wrote a poem for her and it was just the lyrics to that song. Oh dumb middle school boys.