Goodbye to My Sweet Scout

This morning we said goodbye to our sweet Scout. She had been sick for a long time, but she was a super champ and lived well beyond what was expected. Even though I hate that she’s gone, I feel like I got a bonus year with her. She had lots of health problems toward the end. She had hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, kidney issues, IBD, and finally sarcoma. She got really sick last April, and I thought she was near the end at that point. But we got her on a million meds (I used to joke that she was more medicine than cat), and she really rallied. Up until about 2 weeks ago you would barely know anything was wrong with her. But she slowly started eating less and less even after we got her some appetite stimulants, and it just became very clear by yesterday morning that it was time to let her go.

She was part of our lives for a very long time, and I don’t know how I’m going to live without her. We got her in June of 2005, so we had her almost 18 years. We don’t know her exact birthday, but based on how old she was when we got her she would have been born right about this time of year, so she may have died on her 18th birthday for all we know.

She came to us as Rachel, clearly named after the character in Friends because the name of the other kitten in her cage that had already been adopted out was named Joey. So I always assumed she came from a litter of six, and they were named after Friends characters. We chose to name her Scout after the character in To Kill a Mockingbird instead. She had many nicknames. I know there are ones I’ve used and totally forgotten about, but she rarely just got called by her actual name. There were lots of variations of Scout including Scouties, Scouters, and Scoutling. Mostly there were lots of completely random names including my bud, princessy baby, sweeter boo, noodles, noodly, sweeter noo, and fuzzer head. My husband called her monster and cat a lot.

She was definitely not a monster though. She was the sweetest girl there ever was. She was the softest, cuddliest, most lovey cat I have ever had. She loved being around people. She was not a cat who ever hid away. She always wanted to be wherever the people were. Everybody loved her and said she was the best cat, even people with cats of their own. I was always a little curious about her background and wondered if one her parents was a long haired cat because she wasn’t a long haired cat, but she had the thickest, shiniest fur I’ve ever seen on a short haired cat. Everyone commented on it all the way until literally the vet putting her to sleep. A lot of cats’ fur gets kind of greasy and gross when they get old, but not hers. She had beautiful, luxurious fur until the end.

We adopted her with another cat from a different litter because there weren’t any kittens from the same litter when we got them. They became fast friends though. Charlotte sadly died much too young when she was only 9 years old, so Scout lived half of her life as a solo cat. I think to some degree she preferred that. She definitely mourned like crazy when Charlotte died, but I also didn’t feel like she would adapt well to us bringing another cat into the house after that. I think the thing she missed the most was getting to get all of Charlotte’s food. Scout was a real chunker, but she really always was. Even when she was a tiny kitten she would sit down and her round little belly made her look like she had swallowed a baseball.

She did have her moments of driving us crazy and getting into trouble. She had a short history of chewing on computer cables, which she cured herself of by chomping into my laptop cord and creating enough of an electrical surge that it fried my hard drive. Luckily she was fine, but it obviously gave her enough of a shock that she never chewed on a cable again. It is the reason that I have very few pictures of the first few years of her life. I was not good about backing up my digital photos back then and I lost a bunch when she killed that computer. The only kitten photos I have are ones my husband hunted down for me in his photos after Charlotte died, and I wanted them for her tribute post. She also had a longer history of peeing outside of her litter box on fabric things. For a long time she kept peeing on our bathmat. She peed on rugs. I could not use a Christmas tree skirt because she would pee on it every year. I stupidly kept trying, but finally gave up after about 4 years.

Mostly though she was just the absolute best cat you could ever ask for as you can see from all the photos below. I’m going to miss her so much. She was the best cat all the way until the very end. She had a spot we trained her sleep at the foot of our bed where we put a little blanket for her. But most mornings about a half hour before my alarm would go off she would come snuggle up on top of me. She never woke us up begging for food. She just wanted to cuddle. Food demands only started once she knew we were clearly awake. Anyway, the last few days when she was clearly uncomfortable she stopped coming to cuddle with me. Before bed last night I told her I needed her to cuddle with me one last time. I had to pull her up on me instead of her coming to me, but she did stay on top of me and cuddle for a half hour because she knew I needed it. My life is going to be so much sadder without her. I love you and miss you forever my sweet Scout.

2 kittens sleeping on a couch, one tuxedo the other tan
Baby Scout and Charlotte
Tuxedo kitten pouncing on toy mouse
These little mice were her favorite toy. She also loved those big elastic hair bands that went around your whole head to hold your hair out of your face (not the pony tail holders). She would trot around with those in her mouth and make the most horrendous sounding noise that I’m guessing was meant to inform the hair band that she was its boss. She would take them down to the basement and then come trotting upstairs with them making this adorable triumphant sound like look what I vanquished for you! I couldn’t find photos of that though. She was also good at catching real mice in her younger years. She still really wanted to as she got older, but just wasn’t good at it. I know her hearing never went though because she was still stalking my forever mouse plagued house right until the last week of her life.
Tuxedo bag rolling around on the floor with a conference tote bag
She adored tote bags like this and would lick on them and roll around the floor with them. I would try and bring her back tote bag treats every time I went to a conference.
Cat rolling around on top of a pile of conference tote bags.
Motherlode of conference tote bags
Cat toe beans. 2 colored black and two colored pink.
I loved her pretty little multi-colored toe beans
Tuxedo cat with its tongue sticking out
Sometimes she forgot to pull her little tongue back in
Tuxedo cat with an Orioles floppy hat over its head
She hated the Orioles
Cat with a tiny Orioles baseball cap on its head
Or perhaps she really just hated her owners putting all the crap they brought home from Orioles games on her. She equally loathed the Halloween and Christmas costumes my husband bought to put on her head. She immediately pulled them right off.
Cat sleeping on her back
She had a lot of very adorable poses. For a long time she would lie on her back like this all the time and you could give her lots of good belly rubs. In the last few years I think her arthritis made that too uncomfortable so she stopped doing it.
Cat sleeping with her paws over her eyes
She often slept with her paws crossed over her eyes like this and I thought it was the cutest thing ever. I have so many photos of her like this.
Cat sitting with her paws crossed over each other
She always for her whole life sat with her little paws crossed like this. I always told her see was so proper and such a little lady. She even passed away with her little paws crossed.
Tuxedo cat shoved under a bookcase to get to a heat vent under it
She had many places that she liked to sleep. In the winter she loved shoving herself up under this book case so she could lie on top of the heat vent and steal all the heat for herself.
Cat sleeping on top of the back of a couch
In her younger years she liked to sleep on the back of the couch cushions. This couch wasn’t as good for that as the old one was though and she stopped doing that a long time ago.
Cat sleeping on a lap in front of a laptop
She was very much a lap cat, and liked to snuggle with you even it disturbed what you were trying to do. Of course she always got her way.
Cat on top of a cat tree
Her cat tree was another favorite perch until about the last 6 months of her life when it got too hard for her to get in and out of it.
Tuxedo cat sitting in a window
She loved spending every morning in the window basking in the sunlight. She also stopped doing that for the last several months of her life as it got too hard to jump in and out of it.
Cat sleeping in a cardboard box
She absolutely adored this cardboard box, which is how it came to live on my living room floor for 5 and a half years. My husband’s 2017 anniversary present came in it and she adopted it as her bed right away and slept in it every day until the next to last day of her life.
Cat sitting on top of a pillow on someone's lap
She loved sitting on what I called pillow lap. I sat cross legged on the sofa and put a pillow in my lap and then she would sit on top of it.
Tuxedo cat lying at the bottom of basement steps
For the last year or so of her life after she got diagnosed with cancer, she really liked sleeping at the bottom of our basement steps for some reason. It’s not like she was hiding because she was right at the bottom of the steps and my husband spends like 12 hours a day down there. But it became one of her new favorite spots so we made it more comfy with some cushioning and a blanket.
Cat sleeping on a sofa
She liked to rotate spots on the couch, but she would claim a new spot and that would be her spot for months at a time until she would choose a new one. This sometimes meant that I had to give up my spot on the couch to her. Mostly though this spot on the end was her most frequent choice and it’s where we let her go.
Cat sitting on a black blanket on a sofa
Last photo of my sweet baby before we said goodbye

Last Week Delight 3/6/2023

I’m feeling anything but delight right now, but I didn’t write one of these posts last week so I’m going to write it anyway. I figured it would keep me busy for a few minutes while I wait for the vet to open so I can call and ask if they think I should take my cat to the emergency vet. She was diagnosed with cancer almost a year ago, so it’s not unexpected that she’s taking a turn for the worse but it still really sucks. She had rallied so well for so long that I sort of fooled myself into thinking that she was just going to live forever. She is probably turning 18 right about now (I don’t know her exact birthday, but based on when we got her and how old she was this is the right timeframe), so I knew we probably didn’t have that much longer with her no matter what. She’s just the sweetest, snuggliest cat and I don’t want to lose her. Anyway, here’s some things that brought me delight in the moment, but honestly looking at the list just feel dumb to me right now.

  • I had some fun things at work the other week. I was putting together a workshop, and I found an example in the news that perfectly illustrated what I was talking about. I love when the perfect example comes along at exactly the right time. We also have been running a contest to rename a space in the library, and a student submitted some really cool artwork to support her name suggestion. That wasn’t required at all. It was super creative, and I loved it.
  • I was watching the new TV show on ABC, The Company You Keep. It’s supposedly set in Baltimore though it’s filmed in LA. Some prop master clearly did some scouting work though and included a Baltimore salt box in a scene. If you’re unfamiliar they are these plywood boxes painted yellow that the city puts out in the winter with a mix of salt and sand in them for people to use to help gain some traction if they need when it’s icy and snowy. They have sort of taken on a new iconic status in the last few years mostly in part to a local artist who started putting art on the front of them that led to this whole salt box art movement during the pandemic. I sent a screenshot of the salt box in the show to both her and another local person who had even before her started mapping them and looking into their history. They did a talk at the American Visionary Arts Museum the other weekend that my husband and I went to, and I was super excited to see my screenshot show up at the end of the presentation.
  • I got to have dinner with some friends I hadn’t hung out with in awhile the other weekend. We got takeout Indian and hung out for a few hours. It was a good time.
  • I’ve never read the book It nor seen any of the tv or movie adaptations of it. However, I love the show Derry Girls and was super amused by the meme that started when they announced the It prequel, Welcome to Derry in which the characters of the show react to Pennywise. This is the kind of stuff I’m on the internet for.
  • A house a couple of blocks away from mine has this low almost quarter height wall in front of their porch. At Halloween they started perching a bunch these tiny skeletons on it. Instead of taking them down, they’ve just started adding other holiday appropriate decorations to them. They were wearing Santa hats at Christmas. Last time I walked by they were holding hearts for Valentine’s Day. I presume if they aren’t already that they will very shortly be attired in some way with St. Patrick’s day stuff.
  • Mr. Trash Wheel is another Baltimore icon. He and his brethren, Professor Trash Wheel, Captain Trash Wheel, and Gwynda the Good Trash Wheel of the West help keep the harbor and the bay clean by collecting trash out of the water. It’s a design that started here but that has been adopted in several other cities and countries. Anyway, god bless whoever gave these things giant googly eyes and actual personalities because they it really just makes them so great. Whoever runs the Mr. Trash Wheel social media is awesome. Anyway, they just announced that they are admitting new members to the Secret Order the Trash Wheel, which is a fun thing they came up with to get people to help pick up litter.
  • I watched the live Chris Rock comedy special on Netflix. The only reason I watched it was because it was filming in Baltimore. It wasn’t very good, but I appreciated that it was at the Hippodrome. I was really curious as to how that happened, but honestly having watched it really does feel like it was for the dumb, pettiest reason that Baltimore is where Jada Pinkett Smith is originally from. Like I don’t think she cares dude.
  • My musical delight for the week is Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly”. I heard it the other day, and I love it so much. Definitely one of my favorite Tom Petty songs along with all the other Tom Petty songs that are also my favorite Tom Petty song.

New Music Friday: Tears Run Dry by Abraham Alexander

I had never heard of Abraham Alexander until earlier this week when I got the email telling me what the April record for the Magnolia Record Club was going to be, and it was Abraham Alexander’s forthcoming album SEA/SONS due out on April 14. I decided I better go check out some of his music to find out if I wanted to get the record or skip this month. Their description mentioned several artists I love including Gary Clark, Jr., Devon Gilfillian, and Leon Bridges, so I figured he might be an artist I like I as well. From what I’ve heard so far that is 100% true. I was trying to look up more information about him. There’s not a ton about him out there, but I found a few venue and newspaper articles promoting previous shows that gave me a little more information about him.

He’s was apparently born to Nigerian parents in Greece. They moved to Texas when he was 11 years old. So he has an interesting background. He apparently started playing guitar after sustaining a soccer injury and having to quit the game. Now he’s turned it into a career. If you’re familiar with any of the artists I previously mentioned they are a good comparison for his musical style, which is sort of that indie folk R&B sound that one of the articles I read referred to as Black contemporary folk. Seems like a good description to me. I’ll be excited to hear the whole album, and I expect to see him at Newport some year.

Here’s “Tears Run Dry” the first single off the forthcoming album.

New Music Friday: Death Wish by Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit

Earlier this week Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit released the first single, “Death Wish”, off their forthcoming album, Weathervanes due out on June 9. It’s absolutely no secret that Jason Isbell is one of my favorite artists, so I’m very excited for some new music by him. I’m seeing him in concert later this summer, and I’m happy there will be some new jams to rock out to. This song is about loving someone with an addiction. In true Jason Isbell fashion it really cuts to the heart of things. A few days before they made the official album announcement, they put out this ridiculous hype video as a teaser. It’s hilarious because it’s true.

There’s also a new song out by Chvrches today called “Over”. They are also a band I really love, so I’m excited for new music by them as well. However, it didn’t wind up being a contest over which song I was going to feature today because even though you can stream it, the video for the song is not coming out until this afternoon. As I prefer to share YouTube videos since I don’t know what streaming services everyone has access to, that made it an easy call to go with the Jason Isbell song.

Last Week Delight 2/21/2023

  • As I’ve already written about on this blog, I went to see both Maggie Rogers and Snail Mail in concert last week. Going to two indoor concerts in a row is perhaps the closest approximation of my pre-pandemic life that I’ve returned to yet.
  • I was in line behind a college age girl and her mom and I think aunt to get into the Maggie Rogers show. The girl was talking about her sorority sisters, which is how I for sure knew she was in college. I appreciated the fact that this girl was at a concert most kids her age would be at with her friends with her mom instead.
  • I got the last real spot in the parking lot at the Ottobar for the Snail Mail show. I mean aside from the person who created an extra spot right up next to my car. I was worried I wasn’t going to be to get back into my car, but I squeezed in, and that person came out right after me anyway. He had to move his car so his friends could get in it.
  • Also, as I mentioned in my post about the Snail Mail concert, I got a spot to stand on the risers in the Ottobar. I was there late enough I wasn’t expecting it. Between that and the parking spot I felt like everything was coming up me at that concert.
  • I took a staycation last week. I usually take a week off in February or March that often winds up being a staycation. By this time of year I’m always realizing how much vacation time I have left to use before the end of June, so I take a week off to use some of it up. I purposefully decided on last week to take a staycation after I realized that I would have the Super Bowl, and then two concerts all right in a row. Seemed like a good week to be able to sleep in instead of being out late three nights in a row and having to drag myself out of bed for work.
  • I also used my staycation to start learning to crochet. I’ve been beseiged by these Facebook ads for Woobles beginner crochet kits for months. I always thought they looked super cute, but I never wanted to spend the money on them. Then one of my friends posted about making some she got for Christmas, and her feedback on them finally convinced me to do it. I enjoyed doing it, though my poor arthritic hands not so much. I don’t think crochet is going to be a long term hobby because of that. I bought a 4 pack, so I still have three more little animals to crochet. I will have to space them out a little though and give my hands some time to rest in-between. The instructional videos for the kits were really good and very clearly walked me through everything I needed to know to crochet that specific animal. I think there are certainly other things they don’t cover that I would need to know how to do if I was just crocheting in the wild. I definitely understand some of the things I did wrong with my little penguin that I will be better about when I crochet my next little guy.
  • I saw three kids out roller skating in my neighborhood the other day. Seems difficult and a little dangerous given how uneven the sidewalks are around us, but it seemed liked they were having fun.
  • We went over to our friends’ new house for dinner on Saturday night. We got to see their new house for the first time and meet their new kitties. When I used to go out to eat in actual restaurants we would often meet at this Mexican restaurant for dinner. It’s a 30-40 minute drive from our house, so not somewhere we eat often. My husband and I grabbed take out from there once when we were nearish there running some errands picking out stuff for our new bathroom during our renovation, but that was the only time we have eaten there since COVID happened. It’s only about 15 minutes from our friends new house and not that far out of the way, so we swung by and picked up food from there for dinner. It was a huge cheat on this dumb low acid diet I’m doing. But that doesn’t seem to be helping my reflux issues at all either. It didn’t make me feel any worse than anything else I eat. So it was a fun night with friends and some delicious food.

And now for your musical delights.

  • Both of my musical delights come from Maggie Rogers concerts in the past week. Not the one I was at. This is just a Maggie Rogers fan blog now. I shared this on Facebook, but David Byrne joined her at the first night of her shows at Radio City Music Hall. They sang “Strange Overtones” and had some choreography they put to it. I was totally amused by the fact that he clearly didn’t really remember the steps and was like a little kid at a dance recital always half a step behind watching the person beside him to remember the steps.
  • There’s also this sweet story about a 6 year old who was sad she didn’t sing “Burning” in Chicago and convinced her mom to drive them to the Minneapolis show the next night if they could get Maggie to see her plea over social media to sing the song. Maggie did see it and let them know she would sing it for them, and she did.

New Music Friday: Kids in Love by P!nk featuring First Aid Kit

No one probably needs me to tell you about P!nk, but she has a new album out today. If you like P!nk, you should like it. It’s full of songs that sound like your typical P!nk songs, but it also features songs where she collaborates with a lot of Americana artists including The Lumineers, Chris Stapleton, and First Aid Kit. It’s not the first time she’s dipped her toe into this area of music. She did a folk album with Dallas Green of City and Colour under the moniker You + Me about a decade ago. She’s also doing some sort of touring this spring with Brandi Carlile. In my mind this all lending credence to my friend’s theory that P!nk will be at the Newport Folk Festival this year. When suggested it, I was like wha? Why would you think that, but then the more I thought about it I was like well maybe the idea is not so outlandish. This album is adding more fuel to the fire that I think she could actually be right. We’ll see. They’ve only announced three of the artists so far. Anyway, here she is with a band that I am certainly hoping will make another appearance at the festival this year.

Snail Mail Valentine’s Fest Night 5 at the Ottobar

Last night was my first time back to the Ottobar since COVID. It was also my first truly standing room only indoor concert experience. It was the one I was most reluctant to return to. I love the Ottobar. It is a great place to see a show, but it is a super dive club. It’s old. It’s tiny. The ceilings are very low. Aside from the fact that they leave the back door where you go in open all the time, there is probably next to no ventilation. Aside from the fact that there are fewer people there than a larger club so statistics are slightly on your side, it’s really a COVID field day in there. But I finally decided to take a chance and brave it in my N95 mask. I had a few anxious moments, but I feel like they were more just my typical anxiety of I hate being smushed in a crowd of people and I wish these strangers would stop touching me. I’m glad I went though, and I hopefully didn’t bring any COVID home with me.

Lindsey Jordon, aka Snail Mail, is from Ellicott City, Maryland a suburb of Baltimore. So of course she still has lots of ties to this area even though I believe she now lives in New York and her musical career has reached a much larger national stage. So she put together a five night run at the Ottobar called Snail Mail’s Valentine’s Fest. When tickets went on sale I don’t think there was any indication of who would be joining her across the five nights. At some point they put out a poster that listed all the bands, but there was no indication of who would be playing which night. If you follow me on social media that’s why I kept referring to the openers as “surprise” openers, since you had some clue who it might be. I was there on the final night, so it was pretty clear by that point I was going to see Waxahatchee.

I was very excited to have Waxahatchee on night, but I was also super bummed that I missed Soccer Mommy on night 2. I had plans to see Soccer Mommy at Ottobar thrwarted twice by COVID, and I apparently don’t want to see her bad enough to drive down to DC to see her next month. I’ve also seen Waxahatchee two other times in recent years, so I would have preferred Soccer Mommy. Oh well. I made a calculated decision to go with night 5 even though it was a Tuesday, instead of the Saturday show because of the Maggie Rogers concert on Monday. These are still the complicated COVID calculations I make in my head. I was like if I go to Ottobar on Saturday and catch COVID there, then I will miss out on Maggie. But if I go on night 5 after Maggie then I will probably get both in even if I do catch COVID at one of the shows.

Before Waxahatchee though, there was also another opener who I hated. She was not the absolute worse opener I have ever seen, but she was pretty up there in my rankings. I know Lindsey Jordan has a lot of punk and pop punk influences, so it’s not entirely surprising that she would have someone more on the punk end as an opener, but that was very much not for me. The artist was MJ Dunphy and to my mind it was essentially her up on stage sort of scream groaning lyrics into a mic with a musical backing track except for the one song where she played a guitar. I did not enjoy and was very happy when her set was over.

Katie Crutchfield, aka Waxahatchee did a solo set without the rest of her backing band. She was just had Brad Cook, music producer and musician, on guitar with her. Even though I have seen Waxahatchee recently this was actually a very different set. I would say the set was comprised of about 50% new music, 30% Waxahatchee songs, and 20% Plains songs (her recent musical collaboration with Jess Williamson). I really wanted to try and make it to one of the Plains shows. I don’t remember why I couldn’t make that happen, so I was very happy to get to hear a couple of those songs live. I’m sure some people were bummed that she played a ton of new stuff, but I was pleased. A small club like the Ottobar is the perfect place to try that stuff out. She did surprisingly very clearly flub the lyrics to “Lilacs”, which some asshole in the audience felt the need to yell out to her after she was done. It was very clear that she screwed it up, she knows it, we all know. No need for you to point it out jerk,

I had been very excited when I got to the Ottobar. I didn’t actually mean to get there quite as early as I did. I was flying solo because my friend who was supposed to go with me wasn’t feeling well, and I couldn’t find anyone who wanted her ticket. Ottobar is super close to my house though. It’s just over a mile away. If it felt at all safe to do so late at night, I could totally walk if I wanted. Anyway, since the drive is like five minutes I got there at 7:40 which surprisingly was still plenty of time to snag a spot on one of the risers. There are two steps down from the back bar area where you come in to the main part of the club in front of the stage. Instead of just putting two stairs there they sort of built them out and ran them around the corner and all the way down the wall of the club so that there are sort of two elevated platforms you can stand on. Since I’m super short and have a hard time seeing at standing room only shows, I always try to snag a spot on one of them because then I can actually see over the crowd. So I was excited to have a spot there until Snail Mail came out and I realized they had set Linsey Jordan’s mic up in such a way that a pillar was blocking pretty much my entire view of her any time she was singing or speaking intot he mic, which was about 85% of the time. Oh well. Best laid plans and all that.

She did a nice mix of stuff from her two albums and EP. Katie Crutchfield came out and sang “Ben Franklin” with her since she does the backing vocals on the actual recording of that song. Lindsey was saying they have a “Katie button” they use to fill in thos vocals when they don’t actually have Katie Crutchfield there to sing them. Apparently the drummer didn’t actually know it was Katie’s vocals and was like wait what that’s Katie, when he found out she would singing the song with them that night. It was a very unpolished show compared to what I often see, but that’s what made it fun. Katie came back out again to sing the final song, which was a cover of The Killers’ “When We Were Young”. It definitely ranks up there with my favorite concert covers of all time.

In fact I recorded it. I never do that. I never, ever record full songs at shows. I will do a few clips from one or two my favorite songs and that’s it. I don’t want to bother the people around me and make them stare at my phone, and I also prefer to live in the moment and experience things not from behind a screen. I did this one because I knew I wanted a copy of it, and I could do it while subverting my other reasons for not recording. I was standing in front of a wall so there was no one behind me to bother. Also, by that point in the night a lot of people had left because it was very late on a work/school night. So no one was next to me either. I was able to hold my phone off to the side and record while also watching it not through my phone. I posted it to my YouTube, so you too can enjoy. The sound quality isn’t great. I promise it sounded better in the room. You can also tell I never do this since it didn’t occur to me to turn my phone horizontal because I’m so used to shooting things to post to my Instagram stories. I refuse to post to Reels and share from there though because I don’t want to agree to let other people do stuff to my videos, which you now have to do. I don’t know why I draw the line there, but I’m an old curmudgeon who doesn’t want people to be able to do stuff with my content outside of my control. See also one of the many reasons I don’t TikTok. Anyway, here it is if you want a listen.

Maggie Rogers with Del Water Gap at The Anthem

Last night I trekked down to DC to see Maggie Rogers at The Anthem. Unless it is one of their rare fully seated shows, I will forever and always only spring for the VIP box seats at that venue. No standing in the ridiculously long line to get in with 6,000 other people or then being smushed on the floor not being able to see anything in the standing room only section. I am old and tired and my body is broken. I will take a seat if I can have one because luckily I can afford it. Anyway, when I bought my ticket there was a single seat in the front row of the second level boxes available. If I wanted two seats together I had to buy one in the back row of a box on the third level. I decided I preferred the better seat over dragging my husband down with me. I’m sure he preferred my choice too.

Turns out I really was sitting in the we’re old and tired box. I could see a lot of the people in the other boxes were standing even though they had seats. Not my box. We used those seats we paid for. I probably would have liked to get up and dance a little, but my still screwed up foot would not have appreciated it especially since I am going to a standing room only show tonight and will be on it for hours. Plus, since I was in the first row I didn’t want to be the person who stood up an forced everyone behind me to stand up so they could see since none of them clearly interested in standing on their own free will. I still did some chair dancing and had a grand old time. It was also fun just to be able to look out over the crowd and see their collective movements.

Del Water Gap was the opener. Maggie Rogers was actually in Del Water Gap for a hot second when she was a literal teenager. Now Samuel Holden Jaffe holds the moniker as a solo artist. He did have a band with him, but he definitely kept referring to Del Water Gap as him and not a band, and he never introduced the people playing with him. Other than knowing that Maggie used to play in the band when she was first starting out, I didn’t know much about it. I know I heard a song or two from when they played together off her album Notes from the Archive: Recordings 2011-2016, but I definitely don’t think I had ever heard any of his more recent stuff. I liked some of the songs more than others, but he put on a good performance and got the crowd into it. He did also come back out later and sing one of their songs during Maggie’s set.

Maggie Rogers grew up in Easton, Maryland so whenever she plays the Baltimore/DC area she refers to it as a hometown show. She did say that there were lots of old friends including her middle school math teacher along with most importantly her mom. I always think it’s fun to be at a “hometown” show for artists. This show was pretty much at the beginning of the new Feral Joy tour. She had three nights in Boston before this, but that’s it. The production values have gone way up since the last time I saw her. More money means more stuff. There was a lot more fancy lighting stuff and a big projection screen behind her that there was a camera guy on stage projecting onto. The screen was only in use during certain songs. I have said many times before and will say it again, that I don’t give a whit about any of that. At a certain point I feel like bands begin relying on that to wow the audience instead of their actual performance (*cough* U2 *cough*). That was not at all the case here. I felt like it just augmented the performance and wasn’t the focus of it, which is how it should be in my opinion.

It was a great high energy show with a good mix of new songs, old songs, slow and fast songs and a little bit of storytelling, which I always like. Based on what she was saying on social media ahead of the show, I knew she was going to play the entirety of the new album, but only some songs off of Heard It in a Past Life. It’s inevitable that some of your favorite songs start dropping out of the set list once artists have multiple albums to pull from. I just really wanted to hear “Back in My Body”, and was happy it made the cut. It’s my favorite song from that album, and it was my favorite song of the night. It was always a great show.

Last Week Delight 2/13/2022

  • Let’s start with a follow-up to one of last week’s items, circus animal cookies. My sister called me after she read my post last week to tell me that crazily she was in Target and bought some of the same cookies after not eating any for years and years just before reading my post. Like my nieces were asking her what they were because she never buys them. What are the chances?
  • The city fixed some of the sidewalks on our street last week. Technically property owners are responsible for their portions of the sidewalk, and my understanding is that if the city fixes it they will send you a bill. I don’t really understand how that’s okay since what if they fix your sidewalk and you can’t afford to pay for it. I also don’t understand how they decide what the city is going to fix since there are streets around here with way worse sidewalks than the ones on my block. Anyway, our next door neighbors section was on their list. They accidentally busted up one of the squares of our part of the sidewalk in the process and had to replace it too. I’m pleased about this because we paid to have our sidewalks redone years ago because they were super cracked up to and along the base of our house and I was worried water was going to seep into our basement. While the concrete was still drying some jerk wrote their initials + someone else’s initials in a heart in the wet cement. So I had to stare at that for years. I would bet a million dollars those people aren’t even together anymore. Well now that dumb heart that ruined my nice new sidewalk is gone because the single piece they had to replace where was where that was. I am going to be annoyed if the city sends us a bill for fixing something they broke. I will go fight it.
  • It was really nice outside several days last week. I went for a short walk after work one evening and there were just tons of people out enjoying. Kids were out playing on the sidewalks. Everything just felt very alive.
  • For the most part our neighborhood Facebook page is a pretty positive place. There’s always your random jerks who just have to try and provoke everyone and the occasional racism, but overall I find it a pleasant and sometimes even joyful place to be. This is in contrast to our NextDoor, which I had to leave. Not sure why the vibe is so different, but it is. Anyway, there were a couple of reminders of that this week. I saw a post with someone saying they found an abandoned upright bass, which they assume had been stolen and that they were looking for its owner. Then shortly after that saw a post with someone looking for their stolen upright base to which everyone responded with the first post. They were happily reunited. Someone also shared a post expressing that they had been feeling depressed and lonely, and the outpouring of support and suggestions for various groups to join and people offering to call him to join on walks with their dogs and just the general outpouring of support was really lovely.
  • I went to my first Super Bowl party since the start of the pandemic. It was really my first indoor party too. It was a little weird because I kept my mask on the whole time and ducked outside really quick to eat a plate of food, but it was fun to see a bunch of people I don’t see very often since my social life is still stunted. There were also people I haven’t seen since before the pandemic started as well. Quite possibly since the 2020 Super Bowl party. That included a whole 2 year old child who up until this point I have only met through Facebook photos.
  • I finished up my Invisalign treatment today. I feel like finished is a bit of a misnomer, since I still have to wear retainers all the time for what I think is 6 months. Eventually I’ll just be able to wear them to bed. But I literally have 4 different retainers plus a night guard I’ll be getting eventually. I have an Invisalign upper retainer I have to wear during the day. Then I switch to an old school retainer at night to fit with my night guard once I get it. I also have a permanent retainer on the back of my bottom teeth and have a different retainer I have to wear on the bottom at night until I get the night guard. So finished feels like a strong word. I feel like we’ve more just progressed to a new stage. I’ll really feel like I’ve finished when I can just wear all this junk to bed and my teeth can be free during the day. My orthodontist did give me a little bottle of champagne to celebrate. Since I can’t actually drink it, I sort of wanted to ask to trade it out for a prize from the wall of stuff kids earn fake money to buy things from. I refrained though.

TV Diary

High School

I watched this show eons ago but apparently somehow forgot to write about it. It’s available to watch for free with commercials on Amazon Freevee. The show is based on a memoir by Tegan and Sara Quin of the indie band Tegan and Sara. I haven’t read the book, so I can’t say how faithful it is or not. It follows them in high school as they move to a new school, start getting interested in music, and start to recognize their sexuality. Each episode is told through the perspective of two different characters, not always Tegan and Sara. I really liked it, though I don’t feel like the plot advanced very far in the course of the season, so I hope we get more seasons of it.

This Is Going to Hurt

This is Going to Hurt is based on yet another memoir. This time by Adam Kay. It’s a British show co-produced by the BBC and AMC. It’s available in the US to stream on AMC+. I kept hearing how great it was, but there was nothing else I was interested in on AMC+ and I didn’t really want to pay for just this show. We finally subscribed for a month when Amazon was having a $2 sale for AMC+ as one of their channels. It was an excellent show and worth paying even the full price of AMC+ for a month. It stars Ben Whishaw as a doctor working on an obstetrics and gynecology doctor in an NHS hospital in 2006. It shows the good and the bad of Britain’s nationalized healthcare. Adam is a pretty terrible person a lot of the time, but your’e always sort of rooting for him. I presume this is a one season and done show, but I would watch more episodes if they ever made them.

The Detectorists

The Detectorists is another BBC show that is available to watch on Amazon Freevee and a number of the other free streaming services with commercials. It originally aired it’s three seasons from 2014-2016 but then came back for a 75 minute Christmas episode this past December for some reason. (Right now that is only available to stream through AcornTV). That’s how I wound up hearing about the show. I saw some article written about it because of the new episode. It sounded like some nice gentle humor, and I can always use that. It centers around Andy and Lance, who are metal detectorists hoping to find long buried treasures on local farms. There is also the other members of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club and their rivals the AntiquiSearchers. Season 1 was definitely the highlight, but I also enjoyed the rest of the seasons. If you’re looking for some gentle British humor watching some relaxing scenes of people walking around fields swinging metal detectors, this show is for you. It sounds kind of boring, but it is not.


Smiley is a Spanish series available on Netflix. It’s a rom-com centered around Alex and Bruno, two gay guys who are very much opposites but who are both longing for a serious relationship while being surrounded by people only interested in hooking up. They meet when Alex accidentally leaves a voicemail meant for an ex on Bruno’s phone. The show also builds out the supporting characters really well too, which is impressive given that it’s only 8 half hour episodes. I do enjoy opposites attract/hate-to-late romances, but I do wish they done a little more with building up what would actually make them want to be together. There’s only really one scene in the whole series that I feel like actually tries to do that, and it’s not enough in my opinion to overcome everything presented that would not make them a good match. Despite that quibble, it was a show I very much enjoyed watching and would definitely watch more of if they ever made more seasons.

Crash Landing on You

Crash Landing on You is a Korean drama also available on Netflix. I know people love Korean dramas, but this is the first one I’ve ever watched. Linda Holmes from NPR was raving about it, so I decided to give it a try. I don’t know if this is typical of all K dramas, but the episodes were way too long for my taste. They’re all between 75 and 90 minutes long with the final episode being over 2 hours. That’s just too long for a tv episode in my opinion. The story centers around a rich woman from South Korea who goes paragliding as part of a publicity stunt and improbably gets swept away by a tornado that comes out of nowhere and accidentally winds up in North Korea where she is found by a captain in the North Korean army. For reasons he winds up having to hide her in his small village while they try and figure out how to get her back to South Korea. I had a hard time following some of the political stuff going on that was putting people’s lives in danger, but I got enough of it to get the gist of what was going on. I loved the supporting characters, particularly the members of the captain’s troop. It’s definitely a little melodramatic at times, but overall I liked it even though I wish the episodes had been shorter.


Mood is another BBC show. We watched in on some actual tv channel when it aired, so I’m not sure if it’s streaming anywhere at this point. It follows Sasha, who is a 25 year old woman who is sort of a disaster. She’s trying to make it as a professional singer, but her actions and lifestyle are alienating everyone around her. After getting dumped by her boyfriend and kicked out of her parents’ house she winds up getting connected with some social media influencers and then delving into the world of sex work while trying to keep her dream of a singing career alive. There are lots of sort of dream sequences in which she breaks out into song. I had mixed feelings on the show. Ultimately, I liked how things ended and how you get some more of Sasha’s back story that explains a lot of things.