Last Week Delight 12/26/2022

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

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

TV Diary

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

The Recruit

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

I Hate Christmas

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

So Help Me Todd

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

Bluey

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

Fresh Off the Boat

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

Wednesday

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

Gadget Man

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

Fleishman is in Trouble

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

Quantum Leap

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

Last Week Delight 12/19/2022

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

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

Last Week Delight 12/13/2022

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

And now for your musical delights

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

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

New Music Friday: White Winter Hymnal by Jade Bird

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

TV Diary

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

The Big Brunch

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

Welcome to Wrexham

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

Mo

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

The Patient

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

She-Hulk

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

Reboot

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

Partner Track

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

Blockbuster

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

Last Week Delight 12/5/2022

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

And now for your musical delights

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

Last Week Delight 11/29/2022

  • There is a local meteorologist who loves snow and refers to any potential chance of snow long range or short range as the snow train. Basically as soon as it gets cold he starts talking and tweeting about the snow train coming. His snow train references are now out in full force. I love his obsession with the snow train and doubly love my husband’s obsession with his obsession with the snow train.
  • I had two moments baking over the Thanksgiving holiday where my measurements were perfect. When I was putting together my pie dough I was weighing out the amount of flour the recipe called for and managed to scoop out the exact number of grams that I needed in one go. Then I was making rolls and had to split the dough in two and I managed to split it into two exact even halves. I love when stuff like that happens.
  • Speaking of Thanksgiving, it’s my favorite holiday. I love the food, and it feels special because we only eat it once a year. It feels like there is less pressure than Christmas. It’s just a nice chill holiday with time off work, delicious food, and family time.
  • I got my Christmas decorations up over the weekend, so now my house looks lovely. I always like how pretty everything looks bathed in the soft glow of Christmas lights.
  • I’m not really generally a Black Friday shopper. I have occasionally gone shopping with family on Black Friday, but not for many, many years. In fact, maybe not since high school. I definitely have never gone to any door buster sales where I had to be waiting in line the wee hours of the morning. I did however go stand in a short line on this Black Friday at my neighborhood record store for the Black Friday version of Record Store Day. The Cure released a 30th anniversary vinyl version picture album of Wish. The vinyl itself looks like the cover the album. In fact the gatefold literally has holes cut out of the front and back and vinyl inside serves as part of the images on the album. It’s very cool, and I wanted one. So I got that and a couple of used records as well.
  • We watched the movie Spirited starring Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds on AppleTV+ over the weekend. It was super delightful. I loved it and will definitely watch it at future Christmases. The music for the film was written by some people who have written for Broadway and it very much felt like a Broadway show. It had lots of great production numbers. The songs were very catchy. If you want a little joy bomb of singing and dancing Christmas fun I highly recommend it.
  • And for your musical delight we have the song Amadeus, which I loved as a kid and heard somewhere this week. I remember the first time I heard the song I was with my neighbor who was a couple years old than me. I was probably 7 and of course had no idea who Amadeus was, so when she was telling me that the song was called “Amadeus” I kept thinking she was saying the song was called “On My Desk”. It was in fact my introduction to the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. So thanks for the history lesson Falco.

New Music Friday: Lonely Nights by Cecilia Castleman

I almost forgot to post a song today because with the Thanksgiving holiday I have no idea what day it is anymore. Luckily I had this song waiting in the wings when I remembered. I don’t actually remember where I came across this song recently, but I liked it enough to add it to my 2022 playlist. Looking it up for this post I see it’s not actually all that new. Even thought I only heard it for the first time in the last few weeks, it apparently was released as a single back in June. I can’t find much about the singer other than that she is 21 and set to release her first album, which this song is off of, in 2023. I’ll look forward to hearing the rest of it, since I am enjoying “Lonely Nights”.

Last Week Delight 11/22/2022

I have a few extra minutes this morning before an orthodontist appointment, so let’s try and get this done before I have to leave.

  • There was a long time store in my neighborhood called Ma Petite Shoe that sold shoes and chocolate. They sadly closed in 2020 during the height of the pandemic. I never shopped there much. I have a couple of pairs of socks from there, but my feet are too broken to wear anything but old lady comfortable shoes. I cannot look stylish without being in terrible pain, so their shoes were not for me. At one point they also had a crepe shop next door called Choux, which I thought was a very clever tie in. I do miss that place, but it was gone long before the pandemic started. Anyway, they recently announced that they will be reopening in a bigger space this coming weekend. Even though I’m not a frequent shopper I’m very happy that they are coming back because they were a staple of the neighborhood, and I’m glad they’re getting a second life.
  • There is a fire hydrant on the corner where the side street my work is on connects to a major road that I drive by every day going to and from work. Someone just painted it to look like a Dalmatian and it pleases me.
  • The Sex Lives of College Girls came back on HBOMax this past week. I love this show so much. There are only two episodes out so far, and I am eagerly awaiting the release of the next two. So far I’m loving it just as much as the first season.
  • We have season tickets to the touring Broadway shows in Baltimore, so on Sunday night we went to see Tina, the Tina Turner musical. I don’t love juke box musicals in general. This one was fine. Better than I was expecting. That at least was my opinion. Even more enjoyable than the show itself was watching the woman sitting in the row in front of me having the time of her life at the show. She was chair dancing and cheering every time a song with any sort of beat came on. I don’t think the guy sitting next to hear was appreciating her enthusiasm as much as I was, but I had a good time watching her enjoy herself.
  • I walk by the local elementary/middle school on my morning walk every day. I’m usually passing by on my way home right as morning drop off is starting. The other day I saw a dad dropping off his daughter, and he got out of the car, opened the door for her, and then gave her a kiss goodbye. It was mostly notable because she definitely looked like she was probably one of the middle schoolers. You know the age at which kids want to pretend that they sprung from the earth and have no embarrassing parents that all middle schoolers are saddled with. So the fact that he kissed her goodbye and she didn’t recoil in horror was really sweet to me.

And now on to our musical delights.

  • Speaking of being embarrassed by your parents as a middle schooler, I remember driving in the car with my dad, my sister, and a friend at that age and the song “My Lovin’ (Never Gonna Get It)” by En Vogue came on and my dad said that’s not what your mom said to me last night. Talk about wanting to die. Anyway, I heard that song this week, and I never hear it without thinking about that moment. It’s a good thing the song is so awesome so that it was not ruined for me forever. The “now it’s time for a breakdown” part is one of the best moments in a song ever. I will fight you on that.
  • I also heard the song “32 Flavors” by Ani DiFranco this week. In my memories that song was a lot more poppy than it actually is. It’s even sort of soulful. It’s something I hadn’t heard in a long time and that didn’t sound how I remember it. I really enjoyed it and should listen to it more frequently.