Tag Archives: rant

benadryl + synagogue = bad idea

hair straightener, yes. benadryl, no.

tonight at sundown kicks off one of the most important jewish holidays of the year: yom kippur. last week was rosh hashanah, i.e. the jewish new year. [if there was a “greatest hits” of jewish holidays these would be tracks 1 and 2, if you will. (wait, is that on itunes? just kidding, just kidding.  lil jewish humor for ya there)]

anyway, last week i made the silly mistake of taking benadryl right before services the second day of rosh hashanah. this was an astronomically bad idea. see, i was convinced i had allergies b/c my throat was sore and my tongue felt swollen (please, i don’t know. don’t even ask) so i decided, in my infinite wisdom, to take an antihistamine. so i wouldn’t be uncomfortable in synagogue and could at least try to listen instead of a) staring across the sanctuary wondering which women straighten their hair (uh, yeah–that would be all of us) and b) obsessing over just how swollen my tongue could get and could it choke me, do i need to see a specialist and etc.

sometimes benadryl doesn’t make me tired. so i figured, hey, i’ll just take one. let’s just say after 30 minutes in the synagogue sanctuary i felt like stapling my eyelids to my eyebrows. even the really old ppl seemed sprightly next to me. basically i was asleep with my eyes open. holly wasn’t even there (she was in class, unfortunately) for me to poke and whisper to [oh and you know us jews are so good at whispering, esp. in synagogue, (i.e. LOOK AT HER! DID SHE LOSE WEIGHT? HOW WAS THE BRISKET LAST NIGHT? DID YOU GET YA HAIR SET? IT LOOKS GAWGEOUS!) so i could stay awake.

it was a rough ride, those two+ hours in synagogue. so i pledged to myself come hell or high water, no antihistamines tonight and/or tomorrow before services. no antihistamines ever before services, actually. another case of jessica stating the obvious. some things you don’t need to try to figure out they’re a bad idea (like feeding birds alka-seltzer. i’ve heard they explode? not willing to try to find out). other things you need to try (indian leftovers for breakfast, flipping off anyone in baltimore city, leaving things on the basement floor even tho you know it floods every time it rains) in order to grasp that perhaps they’re not the best options for you. not that i’ve ever done any of those things. i’m just saying.

happy new year!

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things i love about our neighborhood (not)

that’s so 90s that i said that but whatever. here goes:

i love seeing ppl put “the club” on their car steering wheels around here. ha! yeah like that’s gonna help! if anything i think seeing “the club” (talk about 90s! geesh) will only irritate potentials thiefs, therefore making your lame car (oh and it’s always total jalopies/clunkers that have the club) more likely to get its windows smashed in for the 47 cents you left laying on the front seat. (duh.) seeing the club on your damn steering wheels make me want to smash your window in. and i don’t even need change. (right now at least.)

oh and i just love the fact that we got a $60 CITATION for WEEDS around the tree we begged, prodded and pleaded to get planted in front of our house to make the block look better. yeah so ok there are weeds there now but they weren’t there EIGHT WEEKS AGO when the “inspector” ticketed us! this city is out. of. control. it’s so damn broke they will ticket you for BREATHING. i wish i was kidding! inspectors come into neighborhoods where they think ppl can afford arbitrary tickets–think again; we really can’t–in order to fund who knows what. the only thing that runs smoothly in this city is the library system. (long live the enoch pratt free library. i love you guys. mmmwah.)

speaking of tickets, i also love that one of our two cars gets TICKETED like every other day for some stupid parking violation when ppl consistently park in our dirty alley, blocking both the trash and recycling trucks. what gives!? we call and cops don’t even show up, not even a ticket for these idiots. hello it’s ILLEGAL to park in alleys! man up and park on the street like the rest of us! i hope your tires blow out from all the broken glass when you try to drive out in the morning. and i hope a rat makes a nest in your back and/or front seat of your car and then chews a hole straight thru to your motor.

and speaking of animals, i just love how cats somehow hide their crap in the grass so i inevitably STEP on it on my way to bring the trash out to said alley every week. my sh*t kicker boots are truly sh*t kickers. can’t even bring the damn things inside! these cats are unbearable! if you’re a cat lover, move to downtown baltimore. i guarantee in five minutes you’ll hate them. they’d scratch your eyes out in five seconds so don’t “aww.” they will cut you.

and even tho i say i don’t love it but i actually kind of do in a way. i love the interesting things that show up curbside around here. mostly it’s shoes (sandals, randomly) and pieces of weave.

i will save more “things i love about our neighborhood (not)” for later. i’m sure i’ll come up with more. until then, goodnight.

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i fought the law and the law won

last friday i went to fight a baltimore city parking ticket. one of many i have racked up over the years. why? b/c when i/we get home after dark i refuse to risk life and limb by parking in a legal spot five blocks away and walking back to our house. i swear, most of the “illegal” spots are just marked “no parking” simply to make money for the city. you city ppl know exactly what i’m talking about. it’s not just baltimore.

well i guess i’d had it a couple months ago. i was slapped with yet another $27 ticket and announced to holly that i was going to fight it.

“babe,” i stated (loudly, as always), holding the damn thing up (more like waving it hysterically). “until this city is safe enough for a woman to walk around at night, i will keep parking in spaces that will keep me from getting killed. or at least mugged.”

she nodded and added a “hell’s yeah.”

it’s the principle of it all, i said. and so i went online and marked that i’d fight the damn thing.

first the city sent me a letter saying they got my request for trial and that i’d be receiving a court date. then i got another letter saying they were about to send me my court date. then, two days later, i got yet another letter announcing my doggone court date. (why is it necessary to waste both paper and money sending letters to say your going to send more letters?! good to know our tax money is funding that. and killing trees.)

anyway, last friday was the hearing. i had to make a special trip back for it b/c i was visiting my family in philly having a blast. so that annoyed me. before i even went to the hearing, i knew it was a stupid decision to fight it. i felt like just paying the damn thing. but no. it was too late. and i knew i was going to lose as soon as i walked in the damn courthouse.

first of all, my car read 118 degrees when i got in it to leave for the trial. when i got to the courtroom, everyone was standing outside of it waiting to get in. apparently, most of the ppl there don’t use dial. or don’t shower. i was like, people! have you even heard of deodorant?! it’s 2010! i thought i might pass out from the smell. it was that bad.

when we were finally herded into the courtroom, we all sat in these pew-like seats that reminded me of synagogue. we stood for the judge, who took her sweet old time coming out. then we all had to sit thru everyone’s “not guilty” pleas. i was dreading my turn. it was like judge judy. except worse b/c i wasn’t watching it on tv, it wasn’t funny and i actually had to participate.

“jessica…leshnif? leshniv? leshnikoff?”

LESHNOFF! fer cryin out loud, lady! two syllables! LESH. NOFF. leshnoff!

i walked up and went up to the stand and swore i’d tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me etc. i pleaded not guilty even tho i knew i was guilty of parking in a spot marked “no parking.”

“is there anything you’d like to tell me?” she said. (she said this to everyone.)

i wanted to tell her that this was all B.S. and i should get the ticket revoked simply b/c i did not smell bad.

“your honor,” i said in a shaky voice, suddenly feeling extremely dorky and uncomfortable, not to mention hot (not howyoudoin hot; hothot, as in: overheating)  in my skinny (but dressy) jeans. “this is the manifestation of a larger, ongoing problem.”

then i promptly forgot everything i wanted to say and babbled something about “as a woman, you understand the need to feel safe at night” and so on and so forth. she, of course, cut me off.

“i’ll drop $22 of the fine,” she said, and bam! went the gavel and then they handed me a printout, saying i needed to go to the cashier. i felt like i won in a way, even tho all my nosehairs had been burned out by the surly courtroom crowd’s b.o.

when i got out into the hallway i examined the paper. if i only had $5 left to pay (a  $27 ticket minus $22) then WHY did it say i had to pay $27.50? MORE than the ticket itself? i figured there had to be some kind of mistake.

“court costs,” the cashier explained. “this judge is known for them.”

so there i was. wasting time and gas and nice girl time with my mom in philly, not to mention time with my partner on a friday afternoon at home (and we had weekend out-of-town guests arriving in just a couple hours to prepare for), and i owed more than the ticket?!!

“you have got to be kidding me,” i told the cashier.

she sighed in agreement while i wrote the city a check.

that clash song, “i fought the law and the law one” kept playing in my head as i drove home. they will get you one way or another with these damn parking tickets. my advice is to pay the damn things. before they triple the original fine and then you’re left wondering if every cop on the street has a warrant out for your arrest. not that that’s ever happened to me. i’m just saying.

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oh fer cryin out loud: i really am old now

b/c i just called the local elementary/middle school “not as a parent but as a concerned member of the community.” damn kids are running wild in the neighborhood! not only walking in the middle of the street–i’m not talking a few at a time either, i’m talking 15-20 at a time; the sidewalks are clear btw, there’s  no reason to walk in the middle of the street–but taking handfuls of icy, sharp snow and scratching cars as they drive by.

this one kid did it to the car in front of us, then looked us straight in the eye and did it to us, too. they all pretty much sh*t a brick when all the sudden holly opens her door and gets out to yell at them, “hey! do you have money to fix the scratches on my car?? do you????” at which point they all started taunting us, shouting curses, dancing and giving us the finger, still in the middle of the street, of course.

look, i’m not stupid. these kids have been cooped up inside for over a week. and a lot of the kids around here depend on school to eat, so they’re probably grumpy and their home lives are probably crap. but: it is DANGEROUS for them to be walking down the middle of the street any time of the year, but esp. when two-way streets are now one-way and there’s ice and snow everywhere and most ppl around here don’t know how to drive in these conditions anyway! half the cars you see every day are slipping and sliding down these narrow sidestreets that a lot of the schools are on. they also shouldn’t be messing with moving vehicles, trying to damage them. these kids are badasses as it is. middle schoolers have actually beaten up full-grown adults in this city. but c’mon now. taunting drivers while they’re slipping and sliding on bad road conditions? plus taunting drivers in general! and destroying property. school administrators should know about that.

then we’re trying to pull in our spot and just as we’re starting to back up we see this woman–i don’t know if she was a mother or just a caretaker/daycare person–but she is beating this little girl that couldn’t have been more than four. i’m sorry but a kid that little does not need to be hit like that. what could she have possibly done?? the woman’s got about four or five kids with her, including an itty-bitty one in stroller. and this little girl is just wailing and now the others that saw her get hit are crying, too. we didn’t know if we should say something to this woman or not. i just kept thinking, if we say something she’ll probably get even more mad and beat the girl some more. yeah, and we’re wondering why kids are cursing us out and destroying property. i’m not saying it gives older kids a carte blanche to do whatever they want to, but it was certainly a cause-and-effect reminder of what some of these kids have gone thru and continue to go thru on a daily basis. it’s funny how you need a license to drive, but anyone biologically able can have a child.

anyway, i’m like, 80 now, calling school administrators. and i know they have enough to worry about. but still, they ought to know what their kids are up to in the neighborhood just outside the school building.