Tag Archives: urban

i can’t take this wildlife anymore

srsly. aren’t ppl living in cities, like, not supposed to come in contact with animals? as in: we go out to the country to look at animals from far away and giggle and gasp about how cute and fluffy they are? right? right? THEN WHY THE HELL DO I HAVE TO DEAL WITH SO MANY FRIGGIN ANIMALS IN THIS CITY???!!!

what’s w/the wildlife, huh, baltimore?? what the hell‘s with the wildlife? there are CATS sh*tting on our ROOF, ppl! our roof!! tell me how this is even possible? (i know. they’re climbers. but humor me here.) they use our backyard as a friggin litterbox. they. are in. our. WALLS! our walls!

the rats burrow under our gates. they even gnawed thr way thru the concrete as it was drying when we put in our patio. the mice, oh you know about the mice. oh and there’s dogs running loose, too. german shepards and pit bulls (that could easily–and very gladly, i’m sure–tear me apart). i’m telling you WHAT. i used to really like animals before i moved to baltimore. but now i’m srsly rethinking  this, as the animals in this town are determined to ruin my life.

around 7/8 or 9pm most nights we hear some thumps and then some eery scratching in the ceiling, sometimes the walls. the first time this happened i was *alone*. holly was in class and i’m telling you i thought i was going to die. or lose my mind. or run out into the street (which would only have me running back in the house for a myriad of reasons). sometimes it gets so loud i think whatever it is is going to appear splat in the middle of the bamboo floor and start hissing at me. like, pop out from behind the fridge and gouge my eyeballs out. if you heard it i swear you’d feel the same way.

at first we thought that maybe it was a giant (gulp) rat. (oh G-d no. pls.) then i thought maybe it was a raccoon (we had a family of those suckers “move in” above our porch in nj when i was growing up) but we really don’t have those here. (the rats probably eat them. you think i’m joking? yeah, i’m totally not.) we don’t have squirrels in our hood, either. (again, the rats prob. scared them away. nothing fluffy and cute allowed in east baltimore.) we’ve decided it’s probably a cat. or cats. b/c i swear, just when i think i’ve seem *all* of them, i find a new one perched on our fence, skulking in our alley (tho i try to spend as little time as possible there since i was propositioned by a daytime (female) hooker who was smoking something in a metal pipe and asked me if i had a husband and what my name was. pls, i know, i know) or peering at me just under the roman shades covering our back french doors (and scaring the s**t outta me in the process).

i have alotta cat lover friends, so i’m going to try not to get too mean in describing my frustration w/these friggin felines. but i will say that i’m going to call animal control stat. if  you know me and you’re reading this and want to adopt one, well c’mon on over! i’m sure if you hang around long enough (and are fast enough. those suckers can ruuun) you can grab one and take it on home. good luck w/that, tho. good friggin luck.

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we’ve had some rough nights since we moved to baltimore

some worse than others. for example, our second night in our newly renovated (once-boarded-up-honest-to-goodness-crackhouse) house, a car, um, blew up a couple hundred feet away. i’m not talking, like, a little car fire or anything. i’m talkin a full-on CSI/90210-oh-my-GOSH-dylan’s-FATHER-was-in-that-car!!!  fireball with a sonic boom that literally made us think our heater blew up in the basement.

i stick my head out one of our two street-facing bedroom windows, suddenly feeling very, oh, let’s just say…trashy (i was rockin my “nighttime” hairdo, i.e. a rat’s nest; all i needed was a cigarette hanging off my lips, hairnet and moomoo) and i’m like, “not out here!” holly runs to the back of our house and suddenly yells “OHMYGOSHCALLTHEFIREDEPARTMENT!” yeah. about 200 feet off our deck is said fireball. more firetrucks than i have ever seen at once come screaming in, as do the cops. there’s so much fire extinguisher liquid chemical stuff being sprayed on this thing that it’s running down the street like a mini stream (straight into the chesapeake bay c/o of our storm drains! nice!). soon, the emergency crews are peering into the charred car with flashlights looking for a body (they didn’t find one. thank GOODNESS). i’m like, what the EFF. is this, like, an everyday occurance?  our neighbors shrugged about it. um yeah. 

i hadn’t even had a chance to shake that off (i tend to need time to “shake things off”) when, a few nights later, we’re in bed and we hear…a drill. we’re like omG someone’s trying to drill off the locks and break into our house! so i whisper to holly, scared outta my gourd, should we press the police button? (we have a really serious security system) and she’s like, yeah, in a whisper. so i jump outta bed in my peejays and hit the button. our siren goes off, brink’s security calls, SENDTHEPOLICE i tell them! soon there are two big police guys downstairs and they’re like nope. nothing. they were really nice about it. to this day, holly and i are sure we heard a drill that night. since we were still in the renovation stage, we had a *lot* of drills around the house. but we still can’t figure out how a drill went off w/out one of us pressing the button or w/out it falling off a counter or something. [if i believed in ghosts i’d be like, it was a ghost of hookers past (apparently a “lady of the night” once lived in our house) or something. but no. i’m not even going to go there.]

then there was The Night of a Thousand Mice. which is a whole nother thing. and oh YEAH, also that night we almost got poisoned by carbon monoxide! [illegal occupants of the vacant house next door didn’t have heat or electricity so they were staying warm, cooking and you know, running a *tv* w/propane tanks, which pumped their house full of carbon monxide, which quickly seeped thru the brick walls into our house and if it weren’t for our carbon monoxide dectector (get one if you don’t have one. srsly.) we’d all be dead. ] 

jump ahead a year+ to last night. last night was a doozie. around 3am we hear what sounds like moaning or crying. maybe a woman? we call the cops. (there’s no telling if they actually showed or not. sometimes we call and they’re no-shows. and i say again: nice!) we hear it again. then some banging on the walls? it stops. shortly thereafter we hear something fall downstairs. we looked at each other like: ohmygosh.

i grab holly’s police stick (hey, she was in the military and we have a police stick next to the bed.) and she’s putting on sneakers and looks at me, “well? are you coming or am i going by myself?” (yes, i was scared and stalling.) we creep downstairs, not knowing what the hell we’re gonna find and….

and…..?

and it was an ikea plastic shopping bag holder. you know, the kind w/all the holes in it that you stick on the wall. yeah. it fell off the wall. geeeeeeeeeeeeez. we breathe out. go back upstairs and watch bbc america’s “you are what you eat” for like two hours (if you’ve ever seen that show, you know it’s really hard to stop watching. like rubbernecking on the highway. exactly.) the comic relief of the night was that when we got back upstairs, holly starts laughing when she sees herself in the mirror. she threw on a polo shirt over her pjs before we went downstairs and apparently, the collar was popped. (accidentally. we have a firm no-collar-popping rule in our household.) hahah. well, if there was someone downstairs and the police stick didn’t scare em away, the popped collar def. would have done it, she said. hahaha.

ahh, baltimore. now i see where my neighbors were coming from back when that car exploded. gotta just shrug it off. gotta laugh or you’ll just cry yr friggin eyes out.  (or just sit in the corner and rock yourself back n forth. that’s always an option, too.)

you’re lucky if the mice don’t mug you around here (i.e. welcome back to baltimore!)

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there’s certain things you hear in baltimore that you just don’t hear too much of in butler, PA (pee-ay) (that’s where we were for a week for xmas, just back monday night. i came down with the cold to end all colds while i was there. i’ll fill you in later). for starters, helicopters.

baltimore is a helicopter city. if it’s not the po-lice, then it’s the friggin news-copters. b/c there’s just always somethin’ going on. police chases, suspects on the run, something burning down. [a church burned down on our street last year. i was home sick that day and all the sudden it looked like a dust storm rollin by outside. i poked my head out the door, and turns out it was smoke. i was like, holy crap the church is on fire. and sho’ nuff, there’s the news helicopters. hopefully they didn’t zoom down on me in my pjs and sneeks. (hey at least i wasn’t wearing a terrycloth bathrobe and slippers) everyone came out to watch the fire. (nothing like a neighborhood fire to see who lives on your street!) i was like, don’t any of you ppl work?? then, as i glanced around, i realized i didn’t feel too bad in my pjs and sneeks, b/c i looked about the same (better, even!) as everyone else. ahh, baltimore.)

i have srsly digressed here. what i meant to tell you is that even tho we came home to two dead mice (haha, i’m laughing b/c i just remembered that nursery rhyme, “three blind mice/see how they run.” hell, in this town you’re lucky if the mice don’t mug you. i couldn’t give a rat’s ass if they’re blind or not. [we found a rat’s ass in the backyard over the summer. ‘nother story for ‘nother day. (props to becky to throwing it out. thanks, becky!)] and the usual debauchery of our ‘hood (namely, drug dealers and hookers), i kinda missed it! i heard the familiar whapwhapwhapwhap of helicopters overhead and i…i kinda got the warm n fuzzies!

i’ll never forget when nicolina came to visit our place for the first time over the summer. we were on our roof (deck) and here come the ‘copters! it wasn’t nighttime, so there were no searchlights. (searchlights get esp. exciting when they actually make their way into your home. can you say duck & cover??) but she was like, omg! this is just like THE WIRE! i can’t wait to tell my mom!!  i was like, wait til the sun goes down, baby. then the real fun starts.

so back monday night to the noise and the dirt [and yes, two dead mice; hey, don’t judge. you try sharing your rowhome walls with a overpopulated rental on one side and a shut-in old man with newspapers and books to his ceilings (we’ve never seen this; an exterminator told us) on the other], the alley cats (we have a lot of them; don’t even get me started) and low-ridin caddys w/tinted windows, which our fair city has no shortage of  (never honk at them, holly sternly warns me; don’t worry, baby, i won’t. maybe if i had a death wish, but i don’t so, haha,  i def. won’t). we passed the famous baltimore smokestack (above; photo taken on a clear day earlier this month. not bad for a cell pic!)–which sits just off I-95, and as much as i (and everyone else) love it, hell if i know what company it’s associated with or what sort of  product it’s involved in manufacturing–before our exit, and, tho i was highly nauseated by my aforementioned cold (which i still have, and for the record, is one of the very worst i’ve ever had) and our 5 hr ride, i was like ahhhh, we’re back. never ever thought i’d think something like that about baltimore.

i swear, i used to hate it here. i hated moving to baltimore from dc. it’s funny how things change, you know? it’s not like i love it here, but i definitely don’t shiver every time i hear someone say “baltimore” like i used to. haha. see that?  never say never.

it’s new year’s eve tonight. nicole (i.e. nicolina) and i have assured one another that 2009 is going to be the best yet. i’m kind of thinking that, too. so whatever all of you are doing tonight, stay safe, have fun and if  a low-ridin cadillac (usually with superloud bass seeping out) with tinted windows is driving ahead of you and the driver doesn’t put on his/her blinker and turns suddenly, for crying out loud, don’t honk at it. even if you’re not in baltimore. ok?? haha. ok.

happy ’09!! here’s to your resolutions if you’ve got any! here’s to never saying never!