- The road that leads in the parking lot at work has had several water main breaks and a sink hole in the past several years that have left the little section right before you enter the parking lot that is actually owned by the campus and not the city a complete mess. It was horrible to drive over. They finally repaved it last week and now it’s so smooth to drive over. It’s lovely. Too bad we also didn’t get our parking lot repaved because it’s still one giant pot hole.
- I had lunch with a friend last week who I hadn’t seen in probably a year even though she works at one of the universities my campus serves. We had planned stuff multiple times in the past year, but for one reason or the other we always had to cancel. We finally made it happen last week. It was nice to catch up with her, and we’ve already got another lunch date on the books for later this month.
- My neighborhood has a Facebook group, and I am constantly amused by the all the posts ranting about how terrible the Chipotle in our neighborhood is. I have never cared that much for Chipotle, so I have never been there. Based on all these posts, I don’t know why anyone ever goes there. I just laugh and shake my head every time someone posts another complaint about it.
- My kittens for some reason have not yet figured out the joys of sitting in the front window and sitting in sunbeams and staring out at what is happening in the outside world. They have figured out how stare at the birds from the bathroom window upstairs though. Anyway, Loki was briefly in the window yesterday, and I heard a woman walking by on the sidewalk yelling I love you to him.
- There’s a dance studio that opened in my neighborhood at some point in the last few years, and I enjoy seeing little kids walking by in their tights and leotards on the way to or from dance class. Also, I would not have considered Baltimore Sound Stage as a venue for dance recitals, but I was driving by on my way to church yesterday morning and I saw a bunch of kids in dance costumes heading in there, so I can only presume that is what was happening. Dance recitals by day, rock club by night.
- Friday started the two months of half day Fridays we get at work over the summer. I used my first half day to go the Baltimore Museum of Art to check out the exhibit they currently have running on the connection between hip hop and art in celebration of hip hop’s 50th anniversary. The amount of sound happening was a little overwhelming to me because the music bleeds between galleries in addition to the sound coming out of the theaters they have for video installations, but the art was cool.
- Every year the NBC Nightly News does a segment celebrating college graduates where they compile a bunch of footage of graduate speeches and students celebrating. It’s one of my favorite things they air all year. I always look forward to it. This year’s aired on Friday, and it was as delightful as ever.
- We had a church picnic at Fort McHenry on Sunday. It was a beautiful day to hang outside and enjoy a few hours near the water with a bunch of people.
- We went with a few friends to check out Hampden Yards, which is a new open air bar that opened in my neighborhood about a month ago. I’m honestly perplexed as to how this made it through zoning approvals without people complaining about what is essentially a bar built into a backyard area between an old church and some other building that appears to be zoned industrial, but I’m not sure what it’s being used for if anything at the moment. But there are still lots of houses that are pretty close to it and ones that back up to it across an alley. Given how much people complain about every other new development, I honestly don’t know how I didn’t hear about this until it was a done deal. I haven’t heard any complaints since it’s been in operation either, so at least so far they appear to be a good neighbor. Hopefully it remains that way.
- For your musical delight this week I have the song “Callin’ Baton Rouge” by Garth Brooks. It’s an upbeat song that I have always enjoyed, but every time I hear it now it makes me think of the mix tape my friend and I made back in 1998 the summer between our sophomore and junior years of college. My parents moved to Illinois from Texas during my sophomore year, so I was not looking forward to going home for the summer where I didn’t know anyone. Somehow my best friends from when we lived in Massachusetts and I cooked up that she would come live with us for the summer and somehow another friend from there also came. I lost touch with the second friend shortly after that summer, but the friend who made the mix tape with me and I are still friends all these years later. Email was a thing by the point we created the plan to live together for the summer, but it is amazing to me that we kept our friendship going through writing letters and long distance phone calls back when you had to pay by the minute to talk to someone not in your area code after my family moved from Massachusetts to Texas after my freshman year of high school. Obviously with email, texting, free long distance phone calls, and social media it became a lot easier to stay in touch, but we still also manage to get together at least once a year (barring pandemics) even though we live in different cities.
New Music Friday: Something in the Orange by Zach Bryan
So this song is not new by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s fairly new to me. I somehow totally missed the boat on Zach Bryan last year. The first I had ever heard of him was back at the end of January when he released the single “Dawns” featuring Maggie Rogers. She of course promoted it a lot, which is how I first heard of him. I liked the song, but it apparently did not inspire me to go look into his music any further. “Something in the Orange” has interestingly been playing recently on both WPOC, Baltimore’s contemporary country radio station, and my beloved WXPN from the University of Philadelphia that usually plays a lot of indie stuff and Americana. It’s a very rare occurrence when they are both playing the same song. Chris Stapleton’s breakout hit, “Tennessee Whiskey” from 2015 is the last one I can think of.
In addition to enjoying that song, we were catching up on the most recent season of Yellowstone earlier this week, and I heard a song that I was pretty sure was by Zach Bryan. I looked it up, and I was right. As an aside, I forgot to mention in my recent TV Diary post that I really love the soundtrack on Yellowstone. The country and Americana music they feature is right up my alley. Anyway, all that combined finally got me to look up more information about Zach Bryan and listen to more of his music.
And here’s how I can tell you that I definitely was very out of the loop because when I looked him up I discovered that his debut major label record, American Heartbreak, entered the US Billboard 200 at number 5 and was the highest charting first week country album in 2022. So obviously other people were paying attention to him. I listened to that full album yesterday, and it’s really 3 albums rolled into one. It’s 34 songs and 2 hours long. He was honorably discharged from the Navy so he could go make music, so I feel like maybe he was writing a bunch of stuff while he was enlisted and then just decided to put it all out there when he got the chance.
I am most intrigued by the fact that he is getting the attention from the country music world because his music falls squarely in the Americana world to me. I mean it’s a little bit potato/patoto when you’re trying to make that distinction. Americana mostly became a genre when the country industrial machine pushed out a lot of the older country sound, women, and the more liberal leaning people in country music. But there is a sonic difference in what you hear on country radio and what gets classified as Americana. I think Chris Stapleton straddles it and now I think Zach Bryan does too I guess. I can say that now that I got my head out from whatever rock it was under I very much enjoy his music.
I really like the video for the song “Something in the Orange” where he compiled a bunch of fan submitted videos to go along with the sunset lyrics.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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 4/24/2023
After last week’s past list of delights, this week is much lighter. I was sick last week, which I’m pretty sure is a result of the foot and ankle doctor who spent our entire appointment coughing in my face maskless. I will spare you my rant on how I think it’s insane that doctor’s office and hospitals are dropping mask mandates. So here’s the few things I have for you.
- To keep my daily Instagram story posts going, I expanded my photos from just the flamingos in my neighborhood to also include these Be Kind signs, which have proliferated in the past year or so. Sometimes the signs have flamingos on them. This week I was pretty sure that I was finally out of both new flamingos and Be Kind signs, but every time I say that more appear. My husband helped by coming home with a Be Kind sign that he bought at the farmer’s market where they were selling them. They also threw in some stickers, so I put those on some light poles in the neighborhood. Then someone added 3 new flamingo Be Kind signs at some of the major border intersections for my neighborhood. So I have a few more. Though I’m going to run out this week while I’m out of town. So there will definitely be at least a temporary end shortly.
- A Black couple opened an Italian ice/ice cream place in my neighborhood last summer. I wanted some soft serve ice cream on Friday night, so we went to Tia’s and stood in a big, long line that was mostly Black people. The history of my neighborhood is let’s just say not great when it comes to Black people, so it’s nice to see them having a thriving business that is attracting new people to the neighborhood. When we first moved into my neighborhood I rarely saw Black people there, but now I see quite a few out enjoying various businesses and walking down our main street.
- Saturday was Record Store Day. Sound Garden, which is my go-to record store in Baltimore, was a large part of starting Record Store Day. However, their process is too much for me. You have to go there the day before to get a numbered token that indicates your place in line on the actual day of. They have the largest selection and the largest quantity of those items, but with the larger crowds I’m not sure it’s better. So instead I went to Celebrated Summer Records, which is a couple blocks from my house. They are much smaller and are not my go to record store because they focus on stuff like punk, metal, and jazz that are not my genres. But they get a variety of stuff in for Record Store Day, so I figured I would try my luck there and if I failed I could go down to Sound Garden in the afternoon to see if there was anything left once all the betokened people finished shopping. Happily I got 3 of the 4 things that were on my list. I got the last (or maybe only) copy they had of the Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires EP and the picture disc re-pressings of The Violent Femmes and The Cure’s live album, Show. I had also been on the look out for Amanda Shires’s solo EP, but they didn’t have that. I’m guessing they never had a copy. The hot item, which I didn’t care about was the Taylor Swift album. I got in line around 8:30 and the store opened at 9. I suspect the Taylor Swift fans were the ones who had been sitting outside for hours because right before the store opened, the owner came out and said that he had 33 copies of the Taylor Swift album, and suggested that my end of the line was probably out of luck. My end of the line clearly did not care. There were two friends a few people in front of me that very much did care though. The woman kept checking in to find out how many copies were left. They got so lucky and they got the last two. I was very happy for them. The owner kept giving updates when they sold out of something. At one point he shouted out, we’re down to the last 11 copies of Husker Du! We started with 12! That cracked me up.
- And now for your musical delight of the week. Brandon Flowers from The Killers joined Dawes for a couple of songs at their show in Salt Lake City last week. I always get so excited for people who were in the room when some crazy unexpected guest shows up at a concert because I know how awesome it is when I’ve experienced it. Despite my love/hate relationship with people recording videos at concerts, I’m happy I get to experience some of these things vicariously.