Last Week Delight 5/30/2023

Last week I felt like I didn’t have very many delights. This week there feels like there are a lot, so let’s get to it.

  • At some point during the pandemic an artist that lives a few streets over from me started to create art on a piece of plywood that he would hang on a post outside of his house. He would change it every month and put up a little sign explaining what it was about. Usually the art was providing some sort of social commentary, so he would often suggest some action to take as well. He stopped putting up new art at some point last year, and I was disappointed. Then last week I walked by his house and the art was back! I hope he sticks with it because I appreciate it.
  • For the life of me I cannot remember what tv show or possibly movie that we were watching that had this joke in it, but there was a scene where the protagonist was getting a hair cut and mentioned that they just got divorced and the hair stylist said I’m legally not allowed to give you bangs right now. That’s good business.
  • It was a nice night last Thursday, so my husband and I walked over to Blue Pit BBQ and sat outside at their picnic tables and had dinner. Plus I still had a gift card my parents sent me for my birthday almost a year ago. So dinner was free!
  • Speaking of the nice weather, that in and of itself is a delight. Usually Baltimore doesn’t believe in weather in the 70s. We usually get our averages in the 70s by averaging out 50 degree and 90 degree weather. So it’s been an unusually long stretch of actual beautiful spring weather here this year. I think we’re about to lose it, but it was really nice while it lasted.
  • Since the weather was so nice and we had no other plans I suggested to my husband that we grab tickets to the Orioles game on Saturday. So we bought some last minute tickets on Saturday morning and went to the game. It was a perfect evening for some baseball. Sadly, the Orioles lost. I was hoping to finally see them win a game, since they’re actually doing decent this year for the first time in forever. We also missed out on the Ryan Mountcastle bobble head giveaway as we weren’t one of the first 20,000 fans there. The game was pretty full, which I’m not used to since they’ve been so bad. In the past several years there was no problem getting the giveaways no matter how late you got there because there just weren’t that many fans there. Oh well. It was still a great night for some baseball, and with the new pitch clock rules the game went by very quickly.
  • I was sitting at work on Thursday afternoon counting down the clock waiting to leave for my 4 day weekend when someone sent out an email that there was leftover cake in the staff lounge from a meeting that was held in the library. I was super excited because I knew it was probably going to be sheet cake. I love a good sheet cake. Some sheet cake is garbage with dry cake and/or that terrible whipped frosting. This was a good sheet cake with nice pillowy, moist cake and that gloriously oversweet buttercream icing. I don’t get sheet cake very often because I’m not buying a whole sheet cake for myself, and it’s not something you can make for yourself at home. I know that means there’s nothing but chemicals in it. But I don’t care. I will forever love sheet cake.
  • One of my co-workers sent out an announcement last week and ended the email saying Such Fun!, which she indicated she was referencing from the TV show Miranda. I am probably the only one who got it, but I was pleased that it was indeed her reference because I read it in the way Miranda’s mom always says it on the show in my head before I even realized she was indeed making the reference.
  • Skip the rest of this bullet if you are still trying to stay 100% spoiler free from the Succession finale though I don’t think this gives too much away without any context. It ended pretty much like I expected it had to. A lot of the reviews I’ve read have mostly focused on Kendall, which I get. However, the most perfect moment in the finale for me was when Tom put out his hand in the car and Shiv put hers on it but didn’t really hold it. If that visual is not the perfect encapsulation of their relationship I don’t know what is. They were always the part of the show that I was most interested in. Absolutely brilliant writing and directing there.
  • In addition to the the Succession series finale on Sunday, HBO also burned off the last two episodes of the wonderful show Somebody, Somewhere. Hopefully that was just a season finale. I haven’t heard otherwise, so I’m hopeful there will be a season 3. I love that show. I know it’s definitely not a show for everyone, but I love a good character driven show that is mostly powered by the specificity of people living their lives. That’s what this show is. I loved season 2 even more than season 1 because all the set up of introducing characters and establishing relationships is done. Now you’re just really living in it with them. I love Sam and Joel’s friendship. Fred is my favorite. It’s unfortunate that Make Hagerty, who played Sam’s father died between seasons 1 and 2. It felt a little wrong to not sort of be able to mourn him through his character since they just sent him off to a happy retirement on a boat instead of killing him off, but I think it was the right decision. Sam and Trish grieving would have had to take over everything else had they gone that way, and I think avoiding that and allowing the other storylines to flourish was the right call. It was nice that there was a moment in the finale where there was a little sort of tribute to his character at Fred and Susan’s wedding that felt like the send off we needed.
  • And now for your musical delights for the week. Someone down the block from me created a little free record library out of an old newspaper bin. I stopped by and looked through it over the weekend and scored some amazing finds. I got Synchronicity by the Police, The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, and Thriller by Michael Jackson. I listened to them over the weekend and they all play perfectly.
  • I saw a little clip from someone’s Instagram story from Emily King’s show at the Ryman over the weekend. She had Yola out to sing “Remind Me” with her. I adore that song, and from the tiny bit I saw it was amazing. I was hoping to find a longer version posted online somewhere, but so far no luck. And of course now that story is expired, so I can’t even go back and rewatch that. Alas.
  • One of the radio stations in Baltimore plays old American Top 40 with Casey Kasem episodes. It’s not something I listen to on the regular, but it always seems to be on whenever we’re driving the 40-45 minutes home from a party at our friends’ house. That was true driving home from the bbq at their house (another delight) on Sunday night. I enjoy listening to the old countdowns. I used to listen to Casey Kasem every week as a kid. Unsurprisingly I was into the music countdown. It’s a fun little time capsule. I’m sure they had no idea when they recorded it that there would ever be a secondary market for them.

New Music Friday: Devotion by Arlo Parks

Arlo Parks released her second album, My Soft Machine, today. It’s the follow-up to her widely acclaimed 2021 debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams. There is definitely no sophomore slump going on here. The album is full of rich textured mellow beats. I feel like she’s doing something completely different than other artists are doing right now, and I’m here for it. It’s hard to believe that she is only 22 years old.

I’m very much hoping that whenever she has a North American tour to support this album that I’ll be able to see her. Right now she’s touring Europe and Australia and has no North American dates, but presumably they’ll come in the fall. Fingers crossed.

I feel like I’m doing you a bit of a disservice by sharing the song “Devotion” because sonically it’s an outlier and not very representative of the sounds on the rest of the album, but it’s also my favorite song on the album so I’m going with it for better or worse. Listen to it and then go dig into the rest of the album and see what else she has to offer.

TV Diary

The Law According to Lidia Poet

This is an Italian show available on Netflix. It’s based on the true story of Lidia Poet, who was a woman trying to become a lawyer before it was legal to do so in Italy. I loved this show so much. It’s my favorite kind of show. It has a good season long overarching story while also having fun and interesting cases of the week. The period costuming in this show is amazing, especially all of Lidia’s outfits. I adore them, but would never want to wear any of them because they have to be super uncomfortable. Serious A+ to the costume designer(s) on this show. As I mentioned in a recent post, the season also ends absolutely perfectly set to the song “King” by Florence + the Machine. I can’t recommend this show highly enough. I hope they make more episodes.

Mrs. Davis

Mrs. Davis is a Peacock show that I can’t really explain what it’s about because it mostly makes no sense. I guess at the heart of it, it’s about a nun trying to defeat an AI named Mrs. Davis that has taken over the world by finding the holy grail. See makes no sense. There are also a lot of sort of side plots that tie into the main plot. I’m not entirely sure how they all relate. The storylines only vaguely hold together. None of this matters. This show is bonkers crazy and so much fun to watch. I do not care that it I mostly have no idea what happened it in it. Betty Gilpin is fantastic in it. She definitely deserves some awards for it come awards season. This is probably not a show that everyone is going to like because they’re not going to get it, but if you just want to go along for the ride it’s a good time.

Poker Face

Poker Face stars Natasha Lyonne as a women who can tell when people are lying. It’s interesting that the show just presents that information to you and then just expects that because you as the audience have already been given enough information to know when someone is lying that you know she knows they’re lying. You never get any kind of particular tick or cue or anything that it’s happening like you would on most shows. There’s the smallest of storylines pulling through from the first episode that I gather the network told the writers they had to include, but mostly it’s just an old school case of the week murder mystery in which she’s traveling across the country and encounters a murder that she helps solve at every stop. Some of them are better than others, but overall an enjoyable show and I am very much not a someone who typically watches your case of the week procedural type shows. This is more like Colombo or Murder She Wrote than your Laws and Order and CSIs.

The Watchful Eye

The Watchful Eye is a Freefrom show also streaming on Hulu that is about a creepy old building full of apartments for rich people that holds lots of secrets. The lead character takes a job as a nanny there for a family where the wife has recently died on mysterious circumstances. She also has ulterior motives as her cop boyfriend has told her of some hidden treasure there that he wants her to find. Kelly Bishop and Amy Acker play supporting characters, which is how I sort of got sold on watching it. I wouldn’t say it’s a great show, but I enjoyed it well enough and plan to keep watching next season.


Beef is a Netflix show about a man and a woman that get into a road rage incident with each other that neither one will let go of and they continue to plague each other’s lives trying to get even for perceived wrongs that they think the other one did to them. It’s definitely a show that’s different from anything I’ve seen before. I think it would have been better if it had ended on the penultimate episode and the ending of that episode was it instead of there being one more episode after that.


We’ve watched all the episodes of Yellowstone that are available on Peacock. At some point we’ll subscribe to Paramount+ and catch up with the newest season. I can’t decide how I feel about this show. In the first few seasons it felt like there was an effort to balance things about between the ranchers and the Native Americans, but that felt like it got dropped in later seasons. My biggest thought from watching this show has been thinking about all the people who watch this and champion the Duttons fighting for their ranch by whatever means necessary including killing people and down right ignoring the law. I’m not advocating for it in either case as I think it’s just a bunch of macho bs, but it did strike me that these people having turf wars is literally just the same thing as urban gang wars that the same people would tell you is wrong and makes those people monsters while celebrating it in the wild west or whatever.

The Reluctant Traveler

I was hoping The Reluctant Traveler would fill in some of the void left by the ending of Travel Man, which I loved. I figured it starred Eugene Levy who is a comedian, so it should be funny. I did not find it a particularly funny show. Also, all the locations he went to were ridiculously expensive and exclusive and nowhere that I would ever be able to go. I’m sure some people enjoy watching aspirational travel shows, but I prefer to watch travel shows about things I might actually be able to do. Basically I was disappointed in this show.

How I Met Your Father

I heard nothing good about How I Met Your Father from critics when it premiered, so I never intended on watching it. However, a couple of my friends kept mentioning it in our group text, so I finally decided to throw it on tv when I just wanted something mindless to watch. It is not good, and yet I also can’t stop watching it. I’m all caught up and intend to keep watching the rest of this season when it resumes this week. The characters are ridiculous and do not function like actual humans in any way, shape, or form to an annoying degree. It tries to follow the same schtick as the original show providing all these random clues and asides that you’re supposed to remember that then get referenced again later. I know they’re also doing some callbacks to the original show, but it’s been way too long since I’ve watched it for me to understand them. I remember enough to know they’re callbacks, I just don’t necessarily get them. Even though I did love most of that show, I will never, ever rewatch it because I’m still so mad about how much they ruined it in the last season and especially the finale. Also, I suspect that a lot of it will not hold up to today, especially Barney Stinson. That show used to make me laugh a lot, and I thought there were certain things about it that were so clever. This sequel is unfunny and thinks it’s clever but it’s not. As I said not good. I do not recommend watching it. I can’t explain why I still am, but apparently I’m going to watch it for a little while longer at least.

Rain Dogs

Rain Dogs is a British show available on HBOMax about a single mom trying to make a buck and support her daughter through whatever means necessary. She reconnects with an old friend who may or may not be a romantic partner of sorts and who serves as a father figure to her daughter. While helping to support them it is also a toxic relationship. It was an okay show. I didn’t love it.

Lockwood & Co.

Lockwood & Co. is a Netflix show based on a series of books. It takes place in an alternate version of modern day Britain where ghosts are haunting the country and people are rising from the dead to wreak havoc, but only children are able to see them. Thus teenagers are trained to become ghost hunters. The titular Lockwood has set up his own agency with no adult supervisors and takes on Lucy who was forced to leave her previous position after she was scapegoated for a mission gone wrong. She has additional powers that make her able to do things others aren’t. I know there was a contingent of fans who adored this show. I thought it was an interesting premise that I was only mildly interested in in practice. I don’t have to worry about whether I care to watch a second season because Netflix canceled it.

Up Here

I was super excited about this musical show starring Mae Whitman, so I was very disappointed that it was so terrible. It was not good at all. The songs were horrible. It’s been awhile since I watched it, so I actually can no longer remember all the reasons that I hated it but trust that I did. I also did not understand why it was set in the 90s. Like literally nothing about it made it so that it needed to be set in the past instead of modern day. I’d give this one a hard pass.

Last Week Delight 5/22/2023

For some reason I don’t have a whole lot of delights to share this week, but let’s get to the ones I do have.

  • I had to get some blood drawn last week. My veins are teeny tiny and I’ve had more than one medical professional tell me that they roll. So I am a very hard stick. 90% of the time it takes multiple sticks and often times multiple people to draw my blood often from some very weird places. Even if they only stick a needle in my arm once the remaining 10% of the time, it still usually results in digging around inside my arm with the needle until they finally get in the vein. It’s extremely rare for someone to stick me and get the needle right in a vein on the first go, but the phlebotomist I had this week did it. I congratulated her and told her I was impressed because that never happens.
  • I’m a big old copyright nerd and have been eagerly awaiting the Supreme Court ruling in the Andy Warhol Foundation v. Lynn Goldsmith case, which is the first fair use copyright case involving creative works (and not software) to make it before the Supreme Court in 30 years. I immediately set to reading all 87 pages of the opinion, concurrence, and dissent. I’m not sure that’s it’s going to make things much clearer to students when I start teaching them about fair use and talk to them about this case, but I’m excited to work it into my lessons.
  • It’s honeysuckle season. I’m pretty sure I used that as a delight last year too. It will write about it every year I keep doing this because I love the smell of honeysuckle. I do not care if it’s invasive.
  • Since my list is so short this week I’m pulling off one of the forever items I’ve had saved that I could pull out at any time for weeks such as this where I don’t have much else to talk about. It seems appropriate because I did my full 4 mile walk over the weekend for the first time in 6 months following my old morning route. My foot wasn’t thrilled, but it was slightly better than it used to be, so yay? Anyway, along that route where the sidewalks that are pretty terribly uneven everywhere has a real cliff of a drop between one piece of concrete and another where something has made the sidewalk plate shove upward at one end. Someone has put a little caution sign next to it that has always amused me. I appreciate that whoever did it is trying to warn the public so they don’t injure themselves.
  • And now onto our musical delights. I heard the songs “That Don’t Impress Me Much” by Shania Twain and “Little Lion Man” by Mumford and Sons back to back on the radio the other day and it made me stop and think about how influential and game changing those songs were when they came out. I don’t think anyone thinks about that anymore. Shania Twain really set off a pop female country movement and Mumford and Sons set off the whole popular folk rock movement that dominated the 2010s for a little while. Now those sounds just seem like old hat, but when those songs came out they were really doing something new in their respective genres. It’s hard to remember back to just how exciting that was, but it really was at the time. They both sent popular culture leaping in a whole new direction for awhile. I don’t feel like that happens very often. Usually it’s so gradual you don’t even realize change is happening, but sometimes something comes along that really jump starts something new. I feel like both of those songs did that.

New Music Friday: All Over Again by Brandy Clark

Brandy Clark’s self-titled fourth album was released today. It was produced by Brandi Carlile and includes songs featuring Brandi as well as Derek Trucks and Lucius. Brandy Clark is one of those country artists who has lived outside of mainstream country for most of her career. She’s written songs for top country artists like Miranda Lambert, but very quickly decided that she wasn’t interested in doing everything she needed to do to be try and be part of the mainstream country machine. As a gay woman that was always going to be an uphill battle for her. She’s someone whose music I enjoy, but for some reason I just never get super invested in. I’m not sure that this album is going to change that for me, but I do like it. “Dear Insecurity”, which is her song featuring Brandi Carlile is the song that seems to be getting most of the press at the moment. I do like it, but I prefer “All Over Again”, which although it’s not the song they’re listed as featured on I’m pretty sure includes some gorgeous harmonies with Lucius. I’m a sucker for harmonies and no one does that better than Lucius.


As you probably know from reading this blog, we sadly lost our beloved 18 year old cat Scout earlier this year. I knew that I wanted to get new cats after she died. Originally I was thinking that it might be good to get cats that were a couple of years old and weren’t as crazy as tiny kittens since we were used to having a senior cat who didn’t do anything but eat and sleep. I also knew I wanted to get them very shortly after we returned from our vacation to Hilton Head because I figured that would give us 6-7 weeks to get them acclimated to living with us before we went on vacation again. Otherwise I decided we probably needed to wait until August when all our long summer vacations were over.

I started scouring cats on Petfinder. Shortly before we left on vacation I applied for some cats that were about a year old and was approved, but they said they wouldn’t hold them for me until after our vacation and someone else adopted them in the meantime. At the end of our vacation I put in an application for some cats that were 2 years old, got approved, and arranged to see them the day after we got back. Despite the foster mom claiming that they were very sweet, they were older feral rescues who definitely still seemed pretty feral. It did not help that there were a million other cats in that house some of which she admitted were still feral and that she was trying to find barn placements for. Those cats were definitely not right for us, and I kind of hated that whole situation. After that I decided maybe we did just want to go with kittens so that we could socialize them from when they were tiny.

Our last cats we got at the Maryland SPCA which is a couple of blocks from our house. So we went by there last Monday, but they didn’t have any kittens at all. My friend who fosters kittens had a litter, but they were long-haired and we only wanted short-haired cats. She also told me what I already knew, which is that kitten season doesn’t really get into full swing until end of May/beginning of June so we were just slightly too early to have a large selection. Luckily Monday night, I spotted two new kittens up on Petfinder and immediately put an application in for them. We got approved on Tuesday and arranged to go meet and most likely adopt them on Wednesday.

A mom and her litter of 4 kittens were found hiding on a porch and taken into foster care. The foster mom who had them got them on St. Patrick’s Day so she gave them all Irish names. Two of the kittens had already been adopted out. The remaining ones were a little boy and girl named Patrick and Molly. We brought them home that night, and now they are a part of the family. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a week since we got them.

We decided we liked Molly’s name for her, but we weren’t keen on Patrick including because it seemed weird that our good friends’ kid is named that. It took us a few days to agree on a name for him, but ultimately we decided on Loki. I think it very much suits him. He’s mischievous and likes to harass his sibling. Also, he has these really big ears that remind me of the horned helmet thing that Loki wears.

They are super adorable and also crazy and maddening at times. Even though we’re feeding them the same dry food they had at their foster home, they have now turned their noses up at it because they only want to eat the wet food we gave them. If I mix them together they’ll eat the dry until they get down to pieces where they’ve eaten all the wet food from around them. My husband tried a new food today that they seem to finally have eaten. Also, I was mean and just refused to give them any wet food this morning hoping that they would eventually cave. They both sniffed at the dry food and stared at my in disbelief and walked away. Loki even cried because there was no wet food. I’m happy to give them some wet food, but it’s way expensive to only feed them that, plus it makes dealing with cat sitting much more difficult because it doesn’t stay good for that long once it’s out and their little kitty tummies can only handle so much food at one time.

Also, I am going crazy trying to train them to scratch where I want them to. We never had this problem with our old cats. We just showed them and they just went right for the scratchers we provided. We never had a problem with them scratching in inappropriate places. That is all Molly and Loki want to do despite the fact that we have provided them with every scratching surface known to man. They have carpet, rope, and cardboard. They have flat surfaces, vertical surfaces, diagonal surfaces, and even a curved surface. They do not want to scratch on any of them. They only want to scratch on our rugs and the door frame. None of those are acceptable. I keep trying to follow behavior modification suggestions, but it’s very hard and isn’t working. I have covered every surface I want them to scratch on in cat nip. I redirect them when they’re scratching to where I want them to scratch, but they don’t seem to get it. And the few times I’ve caught them scratching somewhere I want them to I haven’t been able to get a treat quick enough to reward them. Even if I have it on hand when I step toward them they run away and I can’t give it to them. I hope we can solve it. We only have throw rugs, so we’re picking them all up to remove the temptation, but that doesn’t help the door frame issue. I guess we just need to keep all the doors closed too to block them off.

Despite the challenges, I love them so much. They currently have two speeds bouncing off the walls crazy and zooming through house non-stop or dead to the world asleep. They already have their little personalities. Molly is very nosy and into everything and always wants to know what you’re doing. She’s the leader in most situations, and he chases her wherever she’s going and cries if he doesn’t know where she is. He’s much more vocal than she is. Molly is also the cuddlier one. She will curl up and go to sleep in my lap and follows me around. I don’t think Loki is going to be much of a lap cat, but he has come to me a couple of times and demanded scritches. Even though he’s more of the follower, he’s also a bit of a bully. He pushes her out of the way of food and toys. He also tends to stay energetic longer than she does, so she’ll be trying to sleep and he won’t have it. His immediate instinct is to bite her right in the neck to wake her up. They do love each other though. They sleep curled up, and don’t generally spend any time apart. They love to play with each other. It’s why we got two kittens instead of just one. I think it’s good for them to have a buddy. We did adopt two kittens when we got Scout, but unfortunately Charlotte died when she was only 9, so Scout lived half her life as a solo cat. Hopefully Molly and Loki will have each other for a good long time. I also look forward to having them in my life for hopefully the next 20 years or so.

Last Week Delight 5/15/2023

Another week. More delights. Let’s do it.

  • Obviously if you know me in real life or follow me on social media you know that the biggest and best thing that happened this week was that I got two new crazy kittens! I will write a separate post on them soon, so I’m not going to say a whole lot right now but Molly and Loki are adorable, crazy, maddening, and I love them very much.
  • Last week I was really wanting some ice cream after dinner one night, but I didn’t have any in the house and even though there are multiple ice cream places within 2 blocks of my house I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to walk and get any. I said to my husband that I really wished the ice cream man would come by our house earlier so I could get ice cream from him. He has a tendency to come by our house super late like between 9 and 10 at night long after I have any desire to eat ice cream, but then miraculously within minutes of me making that statement I heard his song in the distance. I was like I manifested the ice cream man! He’s coming! I got my ice cream and it was delicious. Plus he’s waaaay cheaper than any of the places I would have walked to.
  • I spotted this recipe for Pasta with Asparagus, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts in the Washington Post the other week. Since it’s asparagus season it seemed like something we should try. The recipe offers a couple of options for pasta, but it’s first suggestion is gemelli and it’s what’s included in the picture. I’m not sure I have ever had gemelli pasta before. I expected my husband would just use one of the other pastas suggested since we already had those on hand, but he actually got the gemelli and I’m glad he did because I’m a big fan. I should look into other recipes that use it, though since tomatoes are verboten for me at the moment it probably limits my options.
  • I love the smell of rain. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that in one of these posts before. I still do.
  • Went to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night. I hadn’t been to the BSO since before COVID. Awhile back they sent me a survey saying if you answer these three whole questions we’ll give you free tickets to your choice of one of our remaining shows of the season. I presume to get me back to remind me what I’ve been missing and inspire me to pay to go again in the future. I did not 100% know what I was choosing as whatever I looked at to choose a show I don’t think gave me a good description of what the music was going to be. It had the names of the featured vocalists and then also mentioned a tap dancer. I love tap dancing, and it was one of the couple shows that fit into our schedule so I was sold. It turns out that it was a night of big band era/swing/Cotton Club hey day jazz music. I thought it was great. I pretty much knew all the songs not because I ever seek that music out but because at least for people of my age it’s just music that you’ve heard over and over in pop culture of some sort or another. The tap dancing was delightful as expected. I was very happy with my choice, and it did make me think I need to go to the BSO more. We’ll see if I ever follow through on it though.
  • Sunday night was one of our season tickets to the Broadway touring shows at the Hippodrome. This month was Six, which was one of the shows I was most looking forward to this season. I was not disappointed. I loved it, and it was a lot of fun that the audience was full of teenage girls who were super into it and have clearly been those theatre kids singing their hearts out along to the cast recording for years. I even saw a number of them doing some cosplay. The poor boy sitting next to me who was probably about 9 or 10 years old did not it though. A lot of the jokes were going over his head some because they were more adult humor and some because he just didn’t get the references like a joke about being glad her son was born Edward instead of Edwina. He didn’t get what that meant probably because he couldn’t parse what the word Edwina meant. The audience would laugh at something and he would ask his mom what was funny because he desperately wanted to understand what he was missing.
  • Old Bay goldfish crackers are back! They had a limited edition run of these about a year ago, and they sold out pretty quickly. We snagged a couple of bags, but then once those were gone we couldn’t get more. As soon as I saw the announcement and realized I could order some online from Target I ordered 4 bags. Then my husband spotted a display of them at the grocery store and bought two more. We’ll leave some for the rest of you now since apparently they are still only going to be a limited engagement. That will lead us into our musical delights because with the announcement of their return they put out this updated version of Lisa Loeb’s hit song “Stay”.
  • I heard the song “So Far Away” by Dire Straits on the radio, and it reminded me of one of the final episodes of Halt and Catch Fire, which is a great show that I think has unfairly faded into tv history because it was great and should be remembered and recommended. So consider this my recommendation to go watch it if you never did. It made me think of a couple of other great uses of music in TV that I saw recently. When I eventually get my act together and write another TV Diary post, I’ll be talking about the show The Law According to Lidia Poet. I don’t think it really gives anything away to say that the final scenes of the season (hopefully not series) were set to the song “King” by Florence + the Machine. Given the themes of the entire series it was an absolutely perfect piece of music to use. Finally, we watched the finale of the second season of Single Drunk Female this week and the final scene, which again doesn’t really give anything away, is set to the song “And It’s Still Alright” by Nathaniel Rateliff. It again felt like a perfect song to soundtrack a show about a young woman trying to overcome her alcoholism and figure out how move on with her life since the song is about Nathaniel dealing with the death of his friend and producer Richard Swift who died from complications of alcoholism.

Not a Muna Concert Review or My Flat Tire Adventures

Normally I would have been writing my review of last night’s Muna concert at the Anthem. But as I never actually made it to the concert, I will share how I actually spent my Friday night. Right as we were getting off the Baltimore/Washington Parkway onto the highways that run through downtown DC my tire pressure light came on, and I thought that’s not good. It’s not cold out. There’s no reason my light should come on all of a sudden after driving for an hour unless something is actually wrong. I was just praying that we made it to the parking garage we were going to instead of my tire going completely flat or having a blow out on a highway where there is literally no shoulder or anywhere to pull over and is crazy full of traffic. Luckily we made it to the garage, but we were not quite so lucky after that.

I pretty quickly identified that there was a screw in my back driver’s side tire. I’m happy it was sitting right on top and didn’t swind up on the under side of the under side of the tire when I parked where I wouldn’t have been able to see it. While we could have just gone to the concert and dealt with the tire afterwards, I really didn’t want to be down in DC at 11 pm trying to change a tire and then having to drive home an hour after that, especially since I wasn’t sure I would be able to get tire off and then didn’t want to have to wait hours for AAA that late.

So my plan was to miss the opening act, change the tire and get the donut on, and then hopefully make it in time for Muna. My friend who was with me was the real hero and did most of the work jumping on the wrench to get the lug nuts free and then jacking the car up and down multiple times. There was a lot of rust and the tire was unfortunately seized on the bolts, so we could not get it off. This actually happened to my husband and I coming back from a late night flight into Dulles, and our friend who is a car guy recommended taking it off the jack and rocking the car back and forth to loosen it. That worked that time, so we tried that multiple times, but alas it did not work. So we called AAA, who said they wouldn’t be there for 2 hours, which was not ideal. I was also worried about AAA trying to get to us in the back corner of this very low and narrow parking garage with lots of pillars. I honestly have no idea how someone who needed a car towed out of there would ever be able to do it.

Since the Anthem has very limited and crazy expensive parking if you can even get it right near the venue, I usually park about 3/4 of a mile away at a Holiday Inn garage that I can get on SpotHero for $12. We wound up parked right by the elevator from the parking garage to the hotel lobby, so there were lots of people coming and going by us. Some guy tried to stop and help us, but he was not in great shape and mostly just wound up standing around watching us try to deal with it, but I appreciated the thought. Right after we had mostly given up and were just trying to decide if we were going to leave the car up on the jack while we went and waited outside for AAA because it was way too hot in that garage to wait for 2 hours, a huge group of Newark cops came out of the elevator. Four huge guys tried to get the tire off to no avail, and basically told me it was seized, which I already knew and that we were going to need someone with the right tool to get it off. One of them told me since the tire still seemed to be holding air that I should try and take it a fix a flat place or something. I forget what he actually called it, but I didn’t know what he was referring to. He pulled out his phone and found a 24/7 tire place called Mac’s that was only 2.5 miles away. So we decided to take a chance and make our way over there.

I have no idea what is happening in DC or if they’re expecting huge protests over something I can’t think of or what, but something is going on. There were tons of out of state police vehicles parked on the road by the garage, and we had to drive by the Capitol on our way to the tire place and there were just lines and lines of flatbed trucks blocking the road. At first I was like am I allowed to be driving here? Is this some kind of weird trucker protest again for some reason? But then it was eventually clear that what was happening was they were all lined up around the capital with those concrete barricades on their flat beds waiting for a crane to come by and take the barricades off and set them on the ground. Anyway, I’m glad those Newark cops were there for whatever is going on because I never would have come up with their suggestion, and it wound up to be the perfect solution. [Edit: My friend saw a post from her local county Sheriff’s page that solved the mystery. It’s National Police Week and there’s a bunch of events in DC for it this weekend including a memorial cycling thing that I’m guessing is what they were setting up the barriers for to block the traffic from the cyclists.]

After what felt like the longest 2.5 miles drive ever worrying about whether I was going to make it there before my tire went completely flat, we got to the tire place. I had no idea that these kind of places existed. I’m not sure there’s one in Baltimore, but I’m glad there was one near where we were. [Edit: There is one in Baltimore near the prison. I had no idea.] It was literally just one drive through bay lined with tires. You hopped in the line and waited your turn and then when it was your turn you hopped out of your car. They jacked it up and took care of your tire. You paid and were on your way. Or least on your way as soon as soon as the car in front of you was done. They could do 3 cars at a time, but you couldn’t leave if you were done and you weren’t at the front. They got the tire right off with this giant extremely long handled rubber mallet that was bright orange and looked extremely cartoonish. The guy gave it a whack and it popped right off. I got it plugged and was on my way all fixed up for $15 and change. I was very happy to not have to drive back to Baltimore on a donut and then deal with getting a tire fixed this morning.

Although, we were done with all that about an hour earlier than AAA had estimated they arrived, there was no point in trying to make it to the concert at that point. By the time we drove back to the garage, walked to the venue, and got in we probably would have been there just in time for the encore. So instead of going to a concert we drove all the way down to DC to spend hours trying to deal with a flat tire. The friend I was with was the one who got COVID at the Newport Folk Festival last year and resulted in us having to leave early, so we were joking that we’re even now because my flat tire made her miss this concert. Even though I wish we had made it to at least even part of the concert, I’m glad that as these things go it turned out about as well as it could save for us easily being able to get the tire changed ourselves. We didn’t get stuck in any dangerous places trying to change a tire, and got things fixed and made it safely home, which is the most important part.

New Music Friday: STEREO DRIVER by Q

After a few weeks off because of vacation, I’m finally back with some new music for you on this fine Friday. Last week the artist Q released the album Soul,PRESENT. I was unfamiliar with this artist until I heard about him on NPR’s New Music Friday podcast. Their take was that he was born out of time and that if it was 1984 his music would be all over the radio. They’re not wrong about that. He totally leans into the synthy R&B pop music that was huge at that time. I hear Michael Jackson, Prince, and even some Sade in songs on this album. I don’t know much about the artist beyond what little I could find on Wikipedia. Q is his actual given name. His full name is Q Marsden, and it may have been better to use that than to go just by his first name because it’s not great SEO. Trying to search on the letter Q is a nightmare. He’s the son of some Jamaican reggae artist and producer name Steven Marsden, who I have never heard of because my reggae knowledge pretty much stops at Bob Marley. Anyway, I’m very much enjoying the throwback vibes of this song and the whole album.

Last Week Delight 5/8/2023

Things have been a little quiet around this blog space because I’ve been on vacation for the past week and a half. So that’s what a lot of this week’s delights post is going to be about. We took our annual trip to a beach in South Carolina. We’ve been going to Hilton Head for the past several years. We wound up extending our trip by 3 days instead of going for just our normal week. Since our cat Scout died a few months ago and we didn’t have to worry about leaving a sick cat for 10 days, I decided that we should go for longer so that I could use the remaining 3 vacation days I had to use before the end of June. My husband can work from anywhere, so he could just work from down there while I got some extra time at the beach. Otherwise I would have just wound up wasting it sitting on my couch at home. It would have been nicer if the weather was a little warmer. The same cold front that made Baltimore rainy and in the 50s the whole time we were gone made it about 10 degrees cooler than normal and very windy at the beach. That still meant it was in the 70s, but with a cold wind it wasn’t great sitting on the beach weather. I still got my beach walks in, and spent some time sitting and reading on the beach just clothed in leggings and a fleece instead of a bathing suit.

  • My carry on size suitcase is surprisingly roomy, and I like how much I can manage to squeeze into while I’m packing
  • On the Sunday we were there it was crazy windy such that it was impossible to be out on the beach even thought it was decently warm and sunny unless you wanted your skin sand blasted off. The resort didn’t even set out their chairs and umbrellas, and I didn’t even see any beach walkers. It’s the one day I didn’t get any beach time in at all. Since it was a lousy beach day, we decided to go check out Old Town Bluffton. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend giving up a day at the beach for it, but if you’re in Hilton Head for some reason and aren’t much of a beach person or it’s just a not great beach day, Old Town Bluffton is a nice place to walk around. The really historic area has lots of cool old houses and churches and a nice waterfront. There’s lots of art galleries and a few restaurants. Then there’s a newer area that has lots of restaurants and boutique shops. It was a pleasant place to wander around for a few hours.
  • One night we were sitting outside on our balcony overlooking the ocean and all of a sudden there was a giant fireball shooting through the sky. I thought maybe we were seeing a really large meteor or something, but after texting with friends about it one of my friends pointed out that it was actually some SpaceX rocket launching. I had no idea that was happening or that we would be able to see it from where we were, but the times lined up exactly so I’m sure that was it. It was very cool and unexpected. I’m glad I walked outside at that exact moment and saw it.
  • We always play mini golf one day when we’re at the beach. We usually do the Pirate Golf, but we tried out a new course this year. It had real water traps all over the course. It was much harder than Pirate Golf, but the important thing is that I beat my husband. Though he did get a hole in one and win a frisbee.
  • The resort that we normally stay at has the best washing station for getting sand off of you when coming in from the beach that I have ever encountered. It’s perfect. There’s a bench where you can set your bags on so they don’t get all wet and sandy by setting them on the boardwalk while you rinse off yourself and other stuff. They have tall showers if you want to wash off your whole body, low shower heads if you want to just wash off your feet, and also a hose with a spray nozzle that you can use to easily wash off your chairs and other beach paraphernalia. Most importantly all of the shower stuff is positioned in the middle of the boardwalk over a grate so that the water and sand can fall into the dunes underneath instead of creating a pool of sand and water that you somehow have to stand in while you’re trying to clean yourself off like happens at most of the beach washing stations I’ve been at. Kudos to whoever designed this one. A+
  • The first year we went to Hilton Head my husband found a restaurant called A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant. It quickly became one of our favorites. There is an inside, but you really want to eat in the titular backyard. It’s this really great courtyard area, and they usually have some live music. The music is played at the perfect level where you can hear it, but it doesn’t drown out your conversations with the people you’re eating with and no one has to yell to be heard, which is what I too often find when there is live music in restaurants. They claim to have the number 3 shrimp and grits in the whole world. I won’t dispute them because that’s what I always get, and they are delicious. This year I swear to god that the words shrimp and grits barely finished leaving my mouth and my food appeared on the table. I don’t think that I’ve ever ordered fast food that got to me that quickly. I was like is this someone else’s food? The waitress was even confused when she walked back by and saw it in front of me already without my husband having his food. His followed not that long after, but it was very crazy how fast mine came out. Then, the waitress misremembered what I ordered for dessert and brought me key lime pie instead of banana pudding, so we got to take a free piece of pie home too. I was actually sad that dinner finished so quickly because it was a really pleasant night to sit out and enjoy some music, but once we were done I didn’t feel like we should linger since there’s always a line. If you do ever eat there go early or be prepared to wait for an hour or more.
  • And now your musical delights. We usually don’t watch that much tv when we’re at the beach. We spend a lot of time just hanging out on our balcony enjoying the ocean sounds. It was thunderstorming on Saturday night, so we were sitting inside our villa and wound up putting on the live stream of the Stagecoach festival. I very much enjoyed watching Mary Chapin Carpenter’s set and Morgan Wade’s set. Morgan Wade did this great medley of 80s songs that started with the Outfield’s “Your Love”, which is a song I love. I don’t see a video of that particular performance online though there do seem to be some videos from other concerts.
  • I heard “All I Have to Give” by the Backstreet Boys on the radio while we were in Hilton Head. I feel like it’s a Backstreet Boys song I haven’t heard in a long time, but it’s a great song.