Spring, Music, Different Kinds of Frogs

My very favorite local event was a couple of weeks ago, and it seems I’m only now getting around to mentioning it. Well, better late than never!

Play Nice 

Necessary ItemsThe Old 280 Boogie happens every April in the tiny town of Waverly, just a few minutes outside of Auburn. Since I’ve been living here, I’ve never missed a Boogie! It’s an all-day festival with music, local artists, good food, and general fun and festivities. We brought a blanket, a cooler of beer, and some snacks and whiled away the day listening to bands and people watching. You really can’t go wrong.

My favorite bands at this year’s event:

Sam Doores + Riley Downing & The TumbleweedsSam Doores & Riley Downing & The TumbleweedsPine Hill HaintsThe Pine Hill HaintsHurray for the RiffraffHurray for the RiffraffThe Boogie always seems to signal the end of the academic year. Once it’s the season of sitting outside on a blanket drinking beer, one can hardly be expected to focus on school much longer. In the time since then, I’ve just been trying to keep pace with the last weeks of the semester: final papers to assign and grade, final exams to create and grade, and countless meetings with students. Office hours are never busier than when the semester is coming to a close, that’s for certain. But! Yesterday, I gave the last exam of the year, so things are finally almost over. I still have some paperwork and minor tasks to do in the office on Monday, but I feel finished. Finished feels good.

I had a few people over last night for drinks and snacks and celebrating the end of the year, and we had very much fun indeed. One of the best parts was that I got to witness my friend Becky’s reaction to the smell of Laphroaig:

This shall henceforth be known as The Frog, due to the way it made my entire apartment smell like a swamp.I don’t know why, but I have been obsessed with just how unbelievably aromatic that stuff is. It’s bafflingly intense. CW and I went out for a happy hour drink a few weeks ago, and we each indulged in one fancy whiskey of our choice. I went with Basil Hayden Bourbon (my favorite, but so pricey as to only be appropriate once in a blue moon); he went with Laphroaig. I tasted some of his, but only confirmed that Scotch just isn’t for me. I’m definitely a Bourbon person. Anyway, our fun & fancy happy hour inspired him to buy a bottle of the peaty elixir to have on hand at home. What I hadn’t noticed in the crowded bar was that if there is a glass of Laphroaig in the room, I will know. That smell announces itself with authority, even if the nose and the glass are separated by several feet. The length of a sofa, let’s say.

So last night, when I was in the kitchen getting something and I heard Becky’s screams of disgust from the living room, I knew what had happened: she caught the scent of someone’s glass of Laphroaig — or, as I like to call it, The Frog, due to its bog-like, fetid, swampy odor. It was so funny: all night, whenever she happened to catch a whiff of it, even at a distance, she was like, “get that glass away from me!” I was of course in stitches over this whole thing, partly because it was funny, but also because it was sort of a relief to know that I’m not the only one who can smell The Frog from across the room and who finds it utterly unbearable. And I’m not a particularly strong sniffer! I’m usually the last person to notice a smell, but I can’t think of any other beverage that pungent. That shit’s like tear gas. It does not mess around.

Speaking of frogs, please allow me to show you this:

This little guy likes to hang out in the spout of my watering can.This is one of my many little tree frog buddies. I have a watering can out on the patio for all the potted herbs I haven’t gotten around to buying or planting yet this spring. (Note to self: get on that.) So far, the watering can has been in use only for washing pollen off my furniture (so fun and festive!), but hey, that’s useful too. The best reason to have a watering can on your patio, though, is for the frogs! If there’s a little water in the bottom, the tree frogs will somehow sense it and gravitate to it. Every time I go out on the patio to hang out and read and have a glass of wine, I check the watering can and there is always at least one frog hanging out in there. Sometimes they sit on around the edge, sometimes they hide inside the can or inside the spout. The best is when they sit in the top of the spout just like in this photo. I mean, is that not the cutest thing ever? I maintain that it is.

I just have to be sure to evict any frogs from the can before I bring it inside to refill it — we’ve had several close calls with frogs getting loose in the house and nearly being eaten by the dog before I can catch them. Between the tree frogs and The Laphroaig Frog, it’s a jungle in here.


  1. Cutest frog EVER, in the watering can. No thank you to the Laphroaig. I much prefer the bourbon, as you know. Also, I prefer my frogs in watering cans. So.


  2. Ha ha! This post reminds me of my late philosophy professor, who was a huge fan of scotch. Something tells me that he was probably a fan of this foul beverage you describe…but what I wonder is this: does it TASTE anything like it SMELLS? Or is it completely transformed inside the mouth?


    1. Well, I think it tastes pretty much like it smells, but I’ve only had a couple of sips. I think it could be an acquired taste, but…I’m not willing to put in the time when there are so many other things I already like.


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