Tag Archives: winter

i went into a panic last night about the polar vortex and now we have too much food in the house.

so yeah, as you probably already guessed, i bought into the media hype about the “polar vortex” and kind of went into a panic last night.

the panic was similar to the widespread terror many of us here in maryland feel when we hear or read that it will snow except no snow was involved, just cold. this panic, of course, gave me an urgent, frenzied feeling that we were out of everything in the house and we needed to go to the supermarket immediately. i usually have this feeling anyway, because i’m jewish and we never feel like we have enough food in the house. it’s like, a genetic thing, so that when we have visitors we will feed them until they say NO MORE PLEASE STOP. this gives us great joy. anyway, i pushed holly out into the cold and off we went to the store.

when we made it there–THANK GOODNESS WE MADE IT, IT WAS SO COLD–before we got out of the car, she turned to me and said, calmly, that we were going to be ok. that there was no need to panic, we would be fine, we were only here to pick up a few things, we didn’t need to go into emergency mode, this wasn’t a hurricane, etc. i only heard her say “panic,” “emergency,” and “hurricane” so i panicked even more.

we get inside and the store’s…empty. it’s almost empty. OH MY GOSH WHY IS IT EMPTY? WHERE IS EVERYONE? clearly everyone else knows it’s extremely dangerous to be out in such cold. we’ve made a grave mistake but it’s too late to go back now. i must think fast. we must act fast. the temperature’s dropping.

lunch meats! we need lunch meats. MILK! TEA! PEARS! OH MY GOSH WE NEED PEARS.

CANNED FOOD! tuna! YES TUNA! and EGGS! OH LORD THE EGGS. we get to the eggs and THE EGGS ARE ALMOST GONE! the masses have already been here, i think. clearly there’s reason to panic, the eggs are gone! the only eggs left are three containers of those weird omega 3 eggs so we settle on a carton of egg whites. this is a valuable source of protein, i think. one that, i figure, we can cook up using a candle somehow, which i will light immediately when the electricity goes off because surely it will because we live in baltimore and nothing works here. AND OH MY GOSH WE’D BETTER CHARGE UP OUR CELLPHONES HONEY HOW MUCH POWER DOES YOUR CELL PHONE HAVE (i grab it from holly’s hands) OH MY GOSH ONLY 58% THAT WILL ONLY LAST US MAYBE HALF THE DAY. then i see mine is only at 20% and nearly faint.

we get to the cashier and we don’t even have to wait in line. it’s that empty. OH. MY GOSH. IT’S THE VORTEX. we need to move fast. YOU BAG, i tell holly, AND I’LL PUT THE FOOD ON THE CONVEYOR BELT.

the bill is $104 and i honestly have no idea what we bought besides milk and tuna and pears. i obviously blacked out while we were shopping. this is bad.

we go out to the car and the wind is howling.

HONEY! i shout over the swirling winds. HONEY! YOU PUT THE BAGS. IN THE CAR. I’LL. TAKE BACK. THE CART!

i want to shout SAVE YOURSELF! but i decide there’s no need to be dramatic.

we get in the car and start driving home and we see water gushing out into the street. WATERMAIN BREAK, i think. i immediately decide to hoard water when we get home, lest our pipes burst. first i’ll fill the brita filter. then all the pots. every one of them. the largest ones first. i’ll fill the crockpot, too. nothing’s off limits. if it can hold water, i will fill it. i made a stir fry earlier in the day and noticed a green pepper can hold water once you empty out the seeds. i suddenly wish i had bought another pepper. i’d fill that, too.

when we got home, i almost expected our block to be engulfed in flames but honestly, everything was fine (save for some drafty bedroom windows, which holly managed to fix).

it’s late and i want to keep things short so i’ll wrap things up:

the wind blew all night but we both managed to sleep. in the morning, we woke up and i found a cheese danish in the pantry. i’d like to say i was in my blacked-out state when i purchased that, but no, i totally remember buying it. i found beans and two cans of tuna, milk, the carton of egg whites, pears, frozen chopped spinach, and a number of other necessities.

what didn’t i find? what were we out of? toilet paper.

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 😉