Tag Archives: snow

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.

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i knew it was only a matter of time

before some dumbass pulled a knife on somebody over a parking spot. this is today’s new neighborhood development.

yup, some dude moved someone else’s chair and parked in his spot. we saw cop cars and asked what was going on. like i keep saying: respect the chair. [or the cone, milkcrate, dining room set, tv tray, coffee table (yes, saw one of those today) or, my new favorite, a laundry basket full of snow with a pink foam floaty noodle sticking out of it.] respect it or you might get cut. at least in baltimore. so beware.

change of heart: respect the chair

the other day i griped about all the people saving parking spots in our neighborhood, more specifically the chairs, cones and milkcrates used to save them. what is this, middle school? i thought. on that particular day of griping, the snow was almost gone and i thought  the need to save spaces was obnoxious and unnecessary. now that we have three million feet of snow, i am eating my words. we dug out our spot friday morning and then, yes, broke out a folding chair from the basement and…saved our spot.

it’s one of those tailgate-style chairs. canvas with cupholders on the arms. it sort of…broke, the second time we put it out. it’s a pretty sad sight, our chair. but hell, it’s better than what one of our neighbors put out: a rusty old charcoal barbeque with a sponge-top mop leaning on it. my favorite are the folding chairs. you know, the type your parents–or grandparents–put out for extra people at dinner. for like, the kids table at thanksgiving. a close second are wooden kitchen chairs. patio furniture trails just behind. hell, just this morning i saw four matching wooden chairs in a single spot (?!). with cushions tied on and everything. all that was missing was the dining room table. hard not to laugh when you see something like that. i felt like sitting down in one of them and ordering a coffee.

anyway, the street parking situation in our neighborhood is downright wild west by this point. ppl are parked diagonally, backwards, however they can fit. i’ve never seen anything like it. we’ve been trying to limit the number of times we drive because, despite our truly intimidating broken green canvas tailgating chair, we’re scared of losing our spot.

“if anyone, ANYONE! takes our spot,” holly said, her jeep wheels roaring, as we pulled out of our spot earlier this weekend, “I WILL RAM THEM WITH MY JEEP.”

“yeah babe,” i concurred. “ram them. jerks.”

 i hope it doesn’t get that far. but something tells me she’s not kidding.

 she actually exchanged some words with a guy on friday afternoon when she left to go pick up dinner supplies and then our friends up in federal hill. he was waiting to take our spot.

“don’t even think about it,” she told the guy, getting out of her car. “this is my spot.”

“well, where’ya going?” he said.

“i’m going to the store, and i’ll be right back!”

“well how long you gonna be?”

“it doesn’t matter how long i’m gonna be. this is my spot. you’re not parking here.”

“you’d better get a chair.”

 “oh i’ve got a chair right here.”

 and out came the chair. and the guy did the right thing (the smart thing) and left our spot alone.

 so yes, i’ve had a change of heart. respect the chair. respect the ridiculous amount of time it takes to dig your car out after three feet of snow. our neighbor, lori the teacher, put a tv tray out (she didn’t have anything else) and can you believe someone had the nerve to move it and park in her spot?? this isn’t two inches of snow we’re talking about. or even two feet. it’s dog eat dog out there, ppl. dog eat dog.

holly and i actually changed our gameplan should someone park in our spot. we will get out our shovels and, yup, you guessed it: shovel them in. respect the chair, ppl. respect the chair.

ok, this has gotten a little ridiculous

i admit it: i like a good snow storm. i’m a homebody. i love an excuse to stay at home w/holly, esp. when there’s pretty snowflakes to watch falling outside. but this has gotten ridiculous. 

baltimore is immobilized. our street has not been plowed yet. (i know we’re not alone w/that one.)  i don’t know if i can adequately put into words just how much snow there is for you out of towners. cars cannot move out of their parking spots. people can barely walk on the street. nobody’s going anywhere. we saw an EMT get out of his vehicle and run down the street to help someone b/c he couldn’t drive down it.  (ok, wait. there is a BOBCAT digging out street out now. a BOBCAT. that’s how much snow there is!!! of course it’s covering our cars. see, there’s just no way out of this.) 

holly has been cooking up a storm. i’m telling you, we’re going to be morbidly obese by the time the snow stops and we can dig ourselves out of this. fresh crepes w/wild blueberry sauce. stew. tacos. casseroles. and soon, i cannot wait for this one, her first shot at making homemade pasta. 

people have been getting their cars stuck all over place here. in fact, just last night, holly went out of the house to help these girls get their little VW out of a parking spot. if it wasn’t for this random van showing up, that had, like, 10 guys come of it, all of whom pushed her car out of the spot, this girl would have been stuck all day. i was watching the whole thing from our front window, thinking how decent holly is, the way she’s always going out of her way to help ppl. she was making her way back to our house and then she disappeared for a moment. she reappeared helping janet, one of the friendly neighborhood drunks, walk across the street back to her house. janet had her hand in the crook of holly’s arm.  i shook my head.  janet makes me so sad. i know it’s not the most PC thing to say, but i usually don’t have too much sympathy for addicts, not since i moved here, anyway, since they create such havoc and crime in our neighborhood. but janet, there’s just something so doggone sad about her. she’s so skinny and shaky and you can tell she’s smart underneath it all. she’s just so frail and weeble-wobbly i’m scared when she crosses the street on a sunny day. everytime i see her, i think about pretty much the best addiction memoir i’ve ever read, dry by augusten burroughs. i think about what her day-to-day must be like and usually sigh and make myself think about something else. 

we actually were woken up at around 3am by the same girl trying to get her little car out of the spot the guys had pushed her into. it sounded like she was gonna blow her motor up. holly opened the window and shouted down to ask where she needed to go. not to be rude, just b/c we felt concerned there might be an emergency. why else would someone wake the entire neighborhood, risk blowing up their car and then put their life in danger by actually driving (in a little car w/out four-wheel drive)  in this type of weather? she said she needed to go to the hospital b/c her grandmother had died. i know. so sad. the hospital turned out to be pretty far away. holly suggested that she call a taxi service with four-wheel drive. she said she tried but couldn’t get one and even if she could it was really expensive. “your grandmother probably wouldn’t want you driving in this type of weather,” holly shouted down. “it’s really dangerous.” the girl agreed and went back inside. 

anyway, i guess what i’m getting at with these random stories is that it’s nice to see the community coming together a little. i’ll tell you the truth, i don’t know who even lives in most of the houses on our block. all the sudden we’re talking to them and helping them and watching them help each other. i could have skipped the random drunk neighbor that stumbled out of his house the other day, looked at holly and i (trying to make our way across our bulky street) with pervy eyes, and yelled that “y’all look real cute walkin together like that! reeeeal cute. i’ma come back and talk to you. stay there.” yeah, we totally hid behind some boulders and talked to our neighbor lori the teacher (hi lori!) until he went away. 

as for our late neighbor‘s house, we’re worried his roof’s going to cave in from all the snow. the cops told us he had safety citations on it. hell, we’re worried about our own roof, too, and we gave that a good overhaul before we even moved in. we’re more worried about our our decks, one of which is on our roof (tho the weight of it rests on party walls). holly’s been shoveling the snow off the one connected to our house, off the guest bedroom. i stay inside and wave at her and take photos. 

speaking of photos, i’m including some. i don’t normally post a whole lot of personal photos but the past few days have just been so unbelievable that i feel i need to. i’ll try to post them in chronological order. (apologies to my facebook buddies for some repeats. stay with me, there’s some new ones towards the end.) 

from our roofdeck. back when things felt prettier. so quiet in this town. for once!

chimneys peeking out from the snow.

this looks very south pole-like, but it's actually our late neighbor's roof over his vacant house.

gorgeous! you wanna move here now, right? hah. yeah, after my stories i'm betting a big fat no.

our unplowed street.

is that a tunnel or a sidewalk? srsly. crazy.

holly's very first try making crepes. that's wild blueberry sauce she made, too, with ricotta from a local italian place. omg yum.

holly resting after shoveling our second-floor deck. this is before storm #2.

holly helping janet across the street just as the second storm was starting. that's janet on the left.

holly shoveling the deck today.

hi, honey! how's the weather out there? no i think i'll just stay inside and take pictures of you. thanks for shoveling, babe! love you!

a bobcat finally arrives to start shoveling out our street! oh but wait! mister, you're...you're trapping our cars.

 have i told you before about the peeping tom freakazoid across the street? i probably have. sometimes we just see his nose sticking out of his freakazoid curtained second-floor window looking into our house. sometimes he pops out his entire head. he’s a hermit or shut-in or something. we have rarely seen him out. he’s almost like…just a head w/out a body. but b/c of the weather we’ve actually seen him come out twice in the same week. i kind of want to stare at him while he’s out there to make him uncomfortable but i’m too scared that he’s a sharp shooting gun collector psychopath. so instead i took a picture of his window as we see it above our door. can’t see us so well now, can ya buddy?!! BOOYAH.

he usually sticks his head out of the window on the left. and yes, those are hearts. we decorated for valentine's day this year. it's a baltimore thing. don't be a hater. (plus you know you love it.)

well, folks, i think i’ve posted enough photos for a blogging lifetime. i need to get back to this book proposal. nothing like being snowed in to light a fire under your ass. i began work on this proposal almost a year ago to the day and i think i’ve finally got it. mapping out your life’s story is quite an endeavor. but i’m almost there.

 if you live around here, tell me how you’re doing in all this snow! stay warm! xo!

this morning was rough

i woke up with my left eyelid completely swollen (and both itchy), the return of a weird associated hand rash and a migraine headache. oh, also every muscle in my body, including in between my fingers (are there even muscles there?), sore. b/c of yoga. but i’ll get to that in a minute.

let me start off by saying that eyelid swelling is stressful. this is new to me. growing up, there was always some kid who got a mosquito bite on or near his or her eyelid and it would swell up like a big red balloon and i’d be like, woah, dude. that looks bad. i had to look away. and now here i am with my own swollen eyelid (could be plural soon, i’d better watch it). and while it’s not nearly as severe, it’s supremely upsetting, esp. when you don’t know why it’s happening. both eyelids are itchy. as are my hands. this happened around the time of our neighbor “kicking it.” the dermatologist labeled it “contact dermatitis,” which essentially means you’re allergic to something you’ve touched. i’m like, thanks, doc. that’s really vague and not helpful at all. i’ll be sure not to touch anything ever again. then he gave me three creams, two allergy pill prescriptions and a six-day pack of steroids. i pretty much didn’t take anything and it sort of went away.

so my eyelids and hands were itchy and my head was achin like a toothache (as holly might say). let me tell you something about this weather: for migraine headache sufferers, esp. those of us sensitive to barometric pressure changes, impending big storms, like the storm that’s now touching down on the baltimore and dc metro areas, are murderous. so this is day two for me. my head should be nicknamed Storm Watcher. i should get paid for this.

i stumbled into the bathroom and looked at my left eyelid and gawked. i was like BABE. LOOK. AT MY EYELID. (to holly. naturally. did you expect it to be someone else? hah) and she was like, wow, babe. that’s pretty bad. the itchiness and swelling propelled me to the medicine cabinet, where i promptly found the benadryl, which i have in the house from our wedding planning days since i had a stress-induced eye twitch for, like, a year. [holly’s eye doctor told me that antihistamines can help with eye twitches. (never worked for me. not a surprise.)] i decided the itchiness and swelling outweighed the headache so i took two.

then i panicked b/c i was like wait, can i even take a migraine pill w/benadryl? so i called two different pharmacies to check (the journalist in me always fact checks) and they were like, yeah, it’s ok, but you might get really drowsy. so i took the pill and got groggy. then i decided to follow up on a game of phone tag w/my neurologist’s office. see, i’m running low on ibuprofen. i take it sometimes for headaches, 800mg pills, which are the equivalent to four advil. i’ve only had one bottle of 90 ever prescribed to me, in june by another neurologist. it saves a LOT of money to get the bottle of 90 800mg pills. it’s like…360 advil (!) for a $5 co-pay. you just can’t beat that. i figured i ought to get my new dr. to call the prescription in for me. they called yesterday and left me a msg that they needed to ask me a question about it. so that’s why i was calling back. i wanted to get it filled before The Big Storm.

the lady on the phone asked me if this dr. prescribed it for me or the other one. i was like, the other one. then she said the doctor didn’t want to prescribe them for me and did i go to the anesthesiologist he recommend (for these steroid neck shots, ugh. haven’t gotten them yet, prob. will try them tho i’m scared). i was like yes, but i haven’t made up my mind if i want to get the shots yet. and she reiterated that he really didn’t want to call in the prescription for me. then i started to get a little mad.

“look,” i said, feeling shaky. “it’s only ibuprofen. can’t you just call it in for me?”

“no, he’d rather you didn’t take them.”

“i’m laid off,” i explained, feeling increasingly desperate. “it’s cheaper this way. i need them.”

“we’re going to have call you back.”

“i can get my other doctor to call them in for me,” i said, trying to sound helpful. no response.

“we’ll call you back.”

i hung up with the realization that this is what a prescription drug addict must feel like. i know it’s only ibruprofen. but still. i didn’t like it.

anyway, they haven’t called back yet. it’s after 5pm. they’re obviously not calling. totally lame.  

as for the “contact dermatitis,” i have a theory that all of the alcohol-based anti-bacterial gel we’re all using like mad (it’s pretty much enforced at my physical therapist’s office. you’re required to use it before and after your appt. i don’t blame them) is tearing my skin to shreds. what! i have sensitive skin!

i meant to tell you about yoga. but this entry is already way too long. i’m sure i’ll tell you soon since we’re going to be snowed in for about two weeks. (don’t worry, we have plenty of  milk, toilet paper and bread. geez, ppl around here go nuts when it’s about to snow. doesn’t anyone keep anything in their house anymore??) oh wait, i can’t touch my keyboard b/c i might be allergic to it. oh hell, i’ll put gloves on. you’ll hear from me 😉

here’s an idea:

let’s put CONES and MILK CRATES in street parking spots when it snows more than five inches in baltimore. yes, let’s save parking spots so the rest of us are screwed when we’re circling round and round looking for a spot. i swear, the only thing that’s keeping me from moving them is the fact that there’s a good possibility my tires would be slashed if i did.

it was supposed to snow one inch here yesterday and snowed something like six instead. not that i mind. we both like getting snowed in, actually. it’s a great excuse to stay inside and cuddle and watch cooking shows and movies all day. plus it gets nice and quiet outside. after all, it’s pretty hard to deal drugs in the snow, right? (we’ve seen a whole lot less of that lately, btw, since the drug house across the street shut down!!! the place has been emptied out and is actually being remodeled.)

this snowy weather does make me miss florida, tho. that’s where we were for just over a week earlier this month. i’ve been planning to blog about it and i will. i’ve sort of lost my funny bone lately, which is why i’ve been quiet. we had a death in the family (a great aunt of mine; a wonderful, beautiful person). it happened very suddenly and it’s one of those things that sort of…shuts you down a little. it will pass.

january was a weird month for me. i feel antisocial lately, don’t know why. even virtually antisocial. i don’t even log into facebook that much these days. it’s too much noise. everything. all the clamouring and the updates, it gets to be too much. do you know what i’m saying? and twitter, don’t even get me started. sometimes i miss the days of one phone and one answering machine. i’m talking out of both sides of my mouth here, i know, b/c i do love the cellios and the txting and also have my fun on facebook. but i think it’s good to take a break sometimes. and i guess that break sometimes translates into blogging, too.

that said, i’m going out to buy a milk crate now.

pysch!

totally kidding. ttys 😉

in other news, i’ve officially turned into my grandmother

b/c i drank coffee with dinner tonight. with dinner, not after. with italian food, no less. manicotti! salad?! garlic bread?? only old jewish ladies that apply ruby red revlon lipstick right before they hit the local diner drink coffee with dinner! and now i’m one of them, omg.

i do have an excuse, i feel like. we are snowed in in western pee-ay. and it. is so. COLD here. like, stupid cold! we came back to holly’s hometown for the holiday and have not been able to leave for baltimore b/c  it has been snowing (and snowing) and the roads have been crap and i have been chilled to the bone for days. today i hit my breaking point and i was like: coffee please. here, set it right down beside the manicotti and penne and garden salad and keep it coming.

it’s so funny b/c it was only a couple years ago that it suddenly dawned on me–as i was passing a giant group of white-haired ladies in hats and lipstick (some w/walkers, others with canes…cuuuute!) all lunching at this fancy greenspring bakery in baltimore, i forget the name of it–that really and truly, the only ppl i’ve ever seen order coffee with say, sandwiches. and salads. are (besides my art professor mom who always orders black decaf with everything) women of a certain era, if you will. basically my late grandmother  (who went to “the beauty shop” every week and wore great hats and also lots of red/coral revlon lipstick; the old school kind in the green tube). these ladies at the bakery were going to give the dishwashers a real run for their money, too. tons of lipstick around the rim. adorable.

anyway, i drank it fast and piping hot just like grandma did. like it kind of burned my esophagus but it felt goooood after being so damn cold. holly was feeling a similar way across the table from me except it was with beer. which she has needed. like i needed the caffeine. and the near-burning heat. the holidays can do that to you. is all i’m saying.

ok, so there’s that. now to the elephant in the room: you’re probably wondering what in the hell happened to me over the past month b/c i essentially disappeared. i’ll tell you: i needed a break.

november–with the death smell and sadness/horror and the moving out and the laundering and everything else–just drained me. it drained me and left me pretty much a wet noodle. at least in my brain. everything we had to do around the house [we had to hire people to finish our moulding, caulk absolutely *everything*, every little hole, seal our exposed brick, steam clean all of our furniture and our carpets and wash every single fabric item in our entire house. (why all of this has to happen after two household layoffs is beyond me but i guess that’s murphy’s law for ya)]. it was all consuming. and every time i felt like i might sit down to blog, i was going to blog about “it.” and i just couldn’t do that anymore. i mean, how much do readers really want to read about that?? i think we all reached our saturation point. i know i did. plus i just haven’t been feeling funny. i mean, i always joke around but not funny enough to sit down and write. not that i have to be funny all the time b/c you know i just love to tug at the ol’ heart strings now and then. but my general joie de vivre, if you will, i think it’s coming back. finally. so here i am.

random thoughts for the day:

1. have  you ever  noticed that with the exception of really really fancy hotels, the “facial soap” they give you in hotels is essentially the shower/bath soap but just a smaller size?  you kind of expect it to be, like, especially for the skin on your face and it’s not!!! i am mentioning this b/c we stayed in a hotel last night (long story) and i was thinking about it this morning. hotel soap usually sucks anyway. it sucks doubly for your face. don’t call it facial soap, folks. false advertising. it’s micro-mini body soap and that’s all there is to it.

2. one of the many reasons i love holly is that she’s really low-maintenance in terms of “girl” stuff. (i, on the other hand, am high- maintenance; oh you didn’t guess?? ha) for example, this morning i saw that the hotel only gave us two bath towels. i have long hair that’s thick and i always use one towel for my hair (a towel turban; i excel at making these) and wrap one around the rest of me. holly is so great b/c she’ll always take the hand-me-down towel that i used for my hair. it’s always pretty damp but she doesn’t care and never complains. i know, right? it’s the little things. ladies, i know ya feel me.

3. i’m really excited about the new year. 2009 was sh*t. 2008 kind of sucked, too. but i think this year is gonna be our year. it’s a brand new decade! i’m launching my own writing business (website to come!!!). i’m about to start pitching literary agents. holly’s going to finish school this year. two of my oldest, closest friends are tying the knot. oh and to kick things off, my great uncle ben–one of my aforementioned late grandma’s baby brothers; the very last one of her brothers (she had four)–is taking us ON A CRUISE next month! to the bahamas! this is going to be OUR VERY FIRST OFFICIAL VACATION IN OUR ALMOST NINE YEARS TOGETHER. he’s paying for us to take the amtrak autotrain down, even! (holly’s not too keen on flying and i don’t blame her; plus this way we’ll have our car w/us all around miami cause you know we’re gonna be whoopin it up w/uncle ben and i am not kidding! he is kind of a party guy. oh and did i mention he’s 88?!!! 88! he still swims and cooks and is basically adorable and awesome and the male version of my grandma that i miss like crazy.) as my teeth chatter here in pee-ay, i just keep thinking: FLORIDA! BAHAMAS! i’m gonna be one of those b*tches who has a REAL TAN in the winter! ha!

so bring on 2010, baby! if you’re excited about anything–c’mon, you know you are–tell me. resolutions count, too. ttys! xo!