Donner Party! All the Party, None of the Cannibalism!

Posted: May 30, 2015 by patricksponaugle in Music
Tags: , , ,

Last night, my wife, daughter, and I attended a House Concert in lovely Columbia, Maryland. We were fortunate enough to hear the talented Sarah Donner perform.


I have a legitimate reason for showing this adorable 1-week old kitten. You’ll just have to wait for the explanation.

(For those of you wondering why I have cannibalism in the title of the post, feel free to educate yourself on the Donner Party.)

Sarah is an entertaining musician and renowned cat lady (she once had an Ask the Cat Lady advice vlog where people would send her questions and she would answer them in the form of a song. For an example, you should check out her Can My Pregnant Cat Have Catnip? video.)

I should do due diligence and provide a bio/summary of Sarah and her career, but I’m lazy, so instead you should just go to her website or follow her account on Twitter (that account would be @sarahdonner – kudos to her for snagging her name.)

She’s currently touring doing house concerts and traditional venues, and if she’s coming near your area I recommend you go see her, hear her beautiful singing, and check out the two adorable kittens (they’ll be one week old tomorrow) that she’s caring for during her tour.

You might be able to name one of them…

I first heard Sarah sing last year, in Atlanta’s huge science fiction convention, DragonCon. She was the musical guest of honor for the Parsec Awards, which are awards for excellence in speculative fiction podcasting. (You still have today and tomorrow to put in nominations for this year’s Parsec Awards. I expect I’ll be one of the first round judges, like I have been for the past two years.)

My wife and I were greatly entertained by the award show concert last year, and we picked up her CD That is a Pegasus. Her music and songs are light and charming, which last year was very necessary since the 2014 Parsec Awards were shadowed in part by the passing of PG Holyfield, who in the summer of 2014 was diagnosed with and died from cancer in the space of a month. PG was an avid podcaster and was well known by many in attendance. An upbeat performance was needed.

Last week, I attended a memorial to honor PG at Balticon, a Baltimore-based Science Fiction convention that has a strong podcasting presence. There was a video memorial created by PG’s podcasting colleagues, which included among video testimonials and photo montages Sarah’s video (used with permission) for Perfect Time, a song about coping with loss.

That video about killed me (because I tend to sit on my emotions and so on… look, this isn’t about me. Or is it?)

Sarah sang Perfect Time again last night at the house concert, and hearing it performed two weeks in a row was very moving. We complimented her after the concert about how appropriate and touching her video was for the memorial. She let us know that she intends on reshooting the video as a time-lapse presentation of the unnamed white cat (seen above, and adorable) growing older in her hands.

That’s awesome. At least I think so.

If you get a chance to see her on tour, I urge you to do so. She’ll be doing some east coast shows for the next few weeks, then a month or so on the west coast, and rounding up the end of the summer in the mid-US. (Don’t take my word for it, check out the tour dates on her site.)


On the way home last night, we listened to her CD Fossil of Girl, which includes the outstanding and affirming song Bitches, you can steal my shit!

Trust me. If the Starks of Game of Thrones ever decide that Winter is Coming is too passe for their House motto, Bitches You Can Steal My Shit is my vote for replacement. It’s all about resilience and moving forward, and I respect that tons.

© Patrick Sponaugle 2015 Some Rights Reserved


  1. jennnanigans says:

    This is so cool. I can’t view the video at work but look forward to checking it out at home! I LOVE art that deals with resilience!

    You mentioned the Donner party – I read the Wiki on them a few months ago and the most mindblowing thing to me after everything else- the wrong turn, the failed group dynamic, the peopleating, the going back for the rest of the group, the freak weather occurrence that piled up the snow 20 feet deep – was the fact that some of the survivors REMARRIED after. I love and am fascinated by that. I know romance and relationships were different in those days but daily life was also kind of crazyballs.
    “Hello Mom and Dad! I’d like you to meet the girl I’m crazy about – she had to eat her friends and family to survive the harsh mountain winters but we were all shipwrecked for a month on the voyage from Ireland where we were escaping the potato famine so it’s all good.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jennnanigans says:

    I am an ass. I meant to post this on your Donner party entry.

    This really was a beautiful song – I’m so sorry to hear about your friend and colleague passing away. Cancer – agh.


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