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.

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