Posts Tagged ‘Annapolis’

(It’s my 1.5 year anniversary living in Annapolis. My first week here was less-than-awesome.)

You do not realize the full extent of boredom until you’ve moved to an entirely new town and everything decides to go haywire all at once, as karma smacks down the boastful claim you made a few days back that, “everything is perfect!”

Basted in butter, these guys are delicious.

Your car breaks down in protest of all the extra miles you’ve put on him in the last three weeks; your laptop screen goes bright and shiny for a few seconds in the middle of a movie, then gives up the ghost accompanied by a loud-pitched shriek; you have no furniture in your new apartment to rearrange and the only books in sight — you’ve read 200 times each. And then – voila! A three-day weekend descends upon you. A time that should be full of wine-infused joy with friends becomes a wasteland of time stretching in dusty piles before you.

What to do? You clean. And you become obsessive. You clean the entire house once, then twice, then a last time. Then you get a drink of water to give you something to do; namely, put the glass in the dishwasher. And then bite your fingernails nervously because it’s too unsettling to know that ONE UNWASHED THING is within reach. So you hand-wash it, burning up three minutes.

Then you call your family members one-by-one and remember on call numero uno why you only do this on occasion, as your dad cracks himself up for the umpteenth time over the topic of your mythical Swedish boyfriend, Sven, asking if he’s at long-last coming home with you this year for Christmas because the family would really love to meet him. Dad, I promise you, this isn’t any more hilarious the thirtieth time around than it was the first.

After hanging up, you spot a smudge on the shower door across the apartment from the den. Three walls lie between you and it, but your X-ray vision pierces the thin plaster – the same inadequate plaster that lets in the sounds of the bickering couple next door at 2 a.m.  Relieved, you race to wipe it clean. You are thankful, also, that you never had the chance to go to Target to buy cleaning supplies, because that only adds to the challenge of figuring out how to clean things armed only with mismatched argyle socks (bought in a moment of weakness), bleach scrub and ear swabs.

You begin to pace back and forth. You open the door to your balcony and envy the squirrels as they dash about in the fresh air. You begin to feel like a prisoner. You raid the few remaining groceries left in your refrigerator and make up your own recipe for scrambled eggs, then pull out a cookbook to lust over all the things you cannot make because you don’t have a car. You’d do anything for a steak at this point. You happen to again catch sight of the squirrels flitting about, and they suddenly look fat and delicious. You contemplate snaring a few, but you have no bait, unless you sacrifice the eggs on the altar of chance, and no string to make a trap (the five inches of dental floss left in your cabinet is insufficient). With a sigh, you eat your scrambled eggs.

Then – freedom! The car repair lady calls you to tell you that your car is ready to pick up. You dash down the blocks – you spot it! You run your hand lovingly over its dirty gray surface, not even feeling the urge to clean it, because you.have.a.life.again.  You marvel as you hear once again the rattling purr of its motor that you haven’t heard in ten days.

It’s intoxicating! What to do? Where to go? What magical paths lay ahead?

Well, the evening only ended up window-shopping at Old Navy and reading books at Barnes and Noble but, nevertheless, I felt as if I had been handed a tropic vacation. And as a final act of wildness, I left a dish in the sink and a heap of clothing inches away from the hamper testifying to my non-existent basketball skilz. No judging, please.


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Office Wars

A while back, as I left work, I spotted a dirty soup bowl that had hosted my lunch, and a half-inch of congealed Keurig-product in my coffee cup; and I hesitated. To clean or not clean? Pull off gloves and get my hands wet or pretend nothing ever happened? “Screw it,” I decided, stuffing a paper towel into each (why I felt that was necessary, I am not sure. Shame?), and walked out the door to dinner, happily unaware of the coup about to unfold on my desk.

Seriously, how can ants tell when one ounce of congealed liquid is present? How can previously undetected bugs know within 2 hours that Mariann was an idiot who left remnants of bean soup and DonutMan coffee on her desk?

And how do they hike their tiny little bodies from the fireplace all the way up my massive desk? Comparatively, it’d be like me languishing in Afghanistan and hearing a call from God that a tiny pool of chicken broth in Iraq suddenly materialized on top of a mountain as tall as 456,765,345,345 Marianns. How do they KNOW? How do they CLIMB that far so quickly? Where were they living? And what were they feasting on before my bean-soup-coffee pool? How did they find the energy to scale the sheer plywood wall of Kilimanjaro that is my desk after living in the wasteland that is my empty fireplace?

At least, I’m guessing the fireplace is their land of origin. After discovering a colony of them doing the backstroke in my coffee cup and having a hoe-down in my soup bowl, I traced a steady stream to a microscopic hole in the fireplace. Along the way, some were sunbathing on my election spreadsheets, others had taken up residency in my paper clip jar, and some grumpy introverts had buried themselves into the dark recesses of my Fall 2012 files.

I did what any decent human being would do — flushed the insurgents captured in my dishes down the drain and bought traps to lure the rest into sticky deaths. The ones who escaped back to the motherland carried the poison on their ant-toes and inadvertently killed their whole clan.

Desperate times call for desperate measures here in Annapolis.

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If Flowers Could Speak

Joining up with Jen and her peoples here.

It’s been a crazy week and I cannot think of seven witty things to say. However, I was able to stroll through the U.S. Naval Academy and get seven great shots of some flowers.

As you flip through these photos, remember that flowers have feelings and cares just like all of us.

You can scroll through the gallery below or just let it play!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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The other day, in my favorite coffee shop, stood a small girl with a headful of curls and angelic eyes.

Her mom was ordering coffee, when, lo and behold, her sharp eyes came level with – oh glory – a whole case of donuts behind a glass counter.

Except – they were not donuts. They were bagels. Really gross, uninteresting bagels.


Alert to small children everywhere: Those are flecks of onion, not candy.

Yet, her small mind, not very discerning, apparently had yet to discover the difference between a heavenly jam-filled, sugar-frosted bomb of fried carbs and a tasteless bland bagel smothered with equally bland cream cheese.( Raisin bagels, in fact, adding another layer of deception to those who prefer chocolate.)

“Mommy, donuts!” she exclaimed, her nose pressed to the glass in gluttonous anticipation of the feast before her.

“No, honey,” said Mommy, absently counting change.

“DONUTS,” Shirley Temple said firmly.

Mommy snapped out of her lethargy and realized shit was about to get real.

“Those are bagels, honey. They are gross.”

Shirley’s brow was furrowed in utter disgust. Her mind was racing: Lady, do I look like I was born yesterday? Clearly those rings of goodness are donuts and nothing else.

Yet, she patiently said one more time to poor, dumb Mommy, “Donut. I want a donut.” To clear all confusion, she pointed to the glass case.

“Those are not donuts, honey, those are bagels,” Mommy reasoned desperately, with the look of a woman who knows she’s going down into fiery defeat.

Shirley hit the floor about the same time her voice hit 100M decibels.  Cruel world, evil mommy, elusive, unattainable donut! Mommy alligator-wrestled Shirley outside leaving the placid baby brother alone in his stroller.

Not exactly sure how she was appeased, but she was sullenly munching a chocolate scone when I left.

As much as I want to say I don’t act like that kid, I guess I do. “Come on, God, just give me that donut already.” And no matter how many times God tells me, “Dude, it’s a bagel, just trust me, I’ll give you an awesome donut later,” I know better and cannot.think.of.anything.else.but.the.donut.I.cannot.have.

Thank the good Lord for chocolate scones …

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Tourist season begins

I like old ladies.

They give praise even when you know it’s utter BS. (“Your skin is glowing like a pearl and your dress is so chic!” In the face of such sweetness, who am I to point out the mountain range of zits on my chin and the fact that my dress has been stuffed into a storage bin for five seasons?)

Not old ladies, but still tourists, ergo, annoying.

Not old ladies, but still tourists, ergo, annoying.

They worry incessantly about your eating habits, or lack thereof, which is particularly endearing when 1) you’re a new college grad, or 2) single and cooking for yourself. Their houses always smell like the Keebler Elf tree, or at least what I imagine the Keebler Elf tree should smell like.

They will sew buttons back on your coat and nod sympathetically on their sofas, waxing indignant at the young bastard who broke your heart so thoroughly that you’ve sobbed six boxes of tissues soggy. Old ladies rock.

Except on Annapolis sidewalks. There, I have no patience for them. Annapolis is like crack for old ladies. They flock by the hundreds with their closest cronies and yippy dogs to this town. There are about a million types of trinket shops, pet stores, pottery shacks, cable-knit cardigan stores, cheap jewelry counters — you name what old ladies love and I guarantee there’s a store for them in Naptown. Gone are the days of the old-lady bakery smell and here to stay, forever it seems, is the “going-to-the-big-city” old lady perfume that wafts down the streets knocking squirrels out of trees and plastering troubled expressions on the faces of Annapolis citizens who wonder if that tax hike in sewer really made any improvement.

The other afternoon found me rushing back to the office with my luncheon burrito, only to get stuck behind five tourists who were physically incapable of walking single file down the narrow brick sidewalk and huddled en masse all the way to the edge of the sidewalk  to gaze at some embroidered sweater masterpiece. I waited patiently for a moment, then tried to dart into an opening to make my escape. But without fail someone would move into the zone to block my movement just in time for me to screech to a halt and avoid razing her down into the brick and stomping the yapping Fifi at her heels into oblivion.

Of course, I get dirty stares, and I suppose I can’t blame them. Turning red, and biting back excuses (“I swear I love you, old lady! I swear I’m not one of those young people who are assholes who would be that rude on purpose! Just stop mobbing the sidewalk!”) I brace myself for the next army of them swarming down the street.

Brought my lunch today …

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