Spring in Baltimore

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Lauren:

I love living in Baltimore in the spring more so than any other time of the year. Sure we have all four seasons, and windy, gorgeous fall colors, swampy humid august days, toped off with mosquitos, and nuclear winters that never end (**shakes fist), but in the spring, Baltimore is loverly.

Early flowers start to push through the winter-hardened soil, dogwoods and cherry blossoms bloom over night, weather goes from below freezing, to 70 in one day… It’s confusing for our sinuses, allergies, and health. But that moment when I get to wear short sleeves, sunglasses, and **gasp sunscreen…. It’s like a renewal, a rebirth, freedom from the oppression of frigidity. Sleeping with my windows open…. *sigh. Listening to the rain as I sleep…. J

So, what makes Baltimore spring different than everywhere else? Baltimorons get pumped for Old Bay, Natty Boh, Orioles, Berger Cookies, and everything blue crab! What’s better than Boh, corn on the cobb, and crabs on your deck?

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For me, springtime means sitting outside in Fells Point for lunch, a run / walk along the promenade, wine on the patio, visits to the MD Zoo, Beer & Bacon Fest, and crabs!!!!

People who grew up in Baltimore either love it or flee, never to return. Small-timore, no joke. But even people who run away feel the nostalgic pull of blue crabs, old bay, berger cookies, and Natty Boh.

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So, here’s to spring, crabs, and the sun on your face.

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A few recipes for your enjoyment:

Running on fumes

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Katie:

Howdy! I am moving very, very slowly today. Last night, we had a late night. Filled with snacks and beverages and….painting! Lauren, D, KN and I tried out the new fad “Wine and Painting.” It did not disappoint. As you know, Lauren has taken a new position and subsequently I have been requiring more attention than usual so last night was much needed.

At first I was really skeptical about what to expect or how well I would be able to pull this off, but I have to say – I was quite impressed by the whole situation. The whole environment was jolly – from the hosts, our group (duh), and everyone else signed up for the evening.

 

We are quite the painters!

UPDATE: I really am not kidding about this. This is a snippet from Sunday’s phone call with my FIL and in no way was this prompted. Totally out of the blue.

“There are two things I love in this world: flashlights and vacuums.”

“I just bought a Dyson. Now I only have three vacuums.”

See? I told you.

For your enjoyment:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/gifs-that-will-teach-you-a-damn-thing-for-once-in-your-li

Easter: You’re Doing It Right

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Now, Easter is one of those holidays that is cute and fun when you’re little.  You don’t question why a bunny leaves you eggs  (not only the bunny itself, but also, where did it get the eggs…), why you have to hunt for the eggs, why some are plastic with candy (sometimes $$) inside, some are hand boiled and dyed…   It goes on.  The origin of the whole Easter bunny / egg hunt part of Easter has really been lost in the shuffle.  Jewish Passover, Christian Jesus rising from the tomb, ok, got that …

But the bunny?  And the eggs?

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So, according to Wikipedia, we “decorate Easter eggs as a symbol of the empty tomb.”  Who knew?

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And the Easter Bunny:

The Easter Bunny (also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare) is a fantasy character depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggsOriginating among German Lutherans, the Easter Hare originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behavior at the start of the season of Eastertide.[1] The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes. In legend, the creature carries colored eggs in his basket, candy and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Santa Claus or the Christkind, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holiday. The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau‘s De ovis paschalibus[2] (About Easter Eggs) in 1682[3] referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter Eggs for the children.

So, the Easter Bunny is a bunny Santa Claus – checking his list and such …  interesting …  am I the only one who just went with it and never asked?

Anyway …  and then came the advent of the Peep.  Peeps are an epidemic.  They are everywhere.  And people buy them, thinking they’re amazing, both as neon decorations and as food.  Let’s be clear.  Peeps are not food.  They are made of chemical sugar marshmallow, treated with color, and formed into awkward “spring shapes,” like the bunny with no arms or legs, the bald chick, etc.

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From my good friend Wikipedia:  “They are made from sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, and various food dyes. … Peeps contained the colored dye Red 3. It was found through research that Red 3 contained additives causing cancer and can lead to breast cancer.”   Just saying. Don’t do it.

Let me be clear though.  I fully support Peep Dioramas and Peep Jousting.

The more clever / awkward / realistic / nerdy the Peep Diorama, the better!

Peep jousting, you ask?  Two peeps, set up to fight for the death.  An epic face-off. Neon marshmallow vs. neon marshmallow.  Their weapons? Tooth picks.   Set them up, put the in the microwave, hit go, and see which peep’s lance strikes his enemy first.  Ta-da!  The old and the new!  Renaissance sport meets modern microwave technology.  Throw in some toxic red dye….  MARSHMALLOW COMPETITIVE DEATH!

Don’t want to brag, but I’ve won some serious peep jousts in my day.

Anyway…

Easter: You’re Doing It Right!

Love to scare your kids?  Take embarrassing photos and share it with them later in life at opportune times?  Life-sized Easter Bunnies are horrifying.

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Vacuums, Utensil Water, and Poop on the Stoop

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Katie:

Last night as the husband and I were relaxing and reflecting on our day, he mentioned that he read a few of our blog posts yesterday. Which, immediately, made me feel like a superstar. Thoughts started cruising through my mind like “OMG, Lauren and I are totally famous. PEOPLE READ OUR POSTS. Everyone thinks we are as funny/brilliant as we do. FINALLY.” Not necessarily the truth, especially since the only people who read this are our moms. (Hi Mom).

Husband suggested that I write about the weather and I said – hey, Lauren’s post today was about the rain (leading me to believe he did not, in fact, check out the blog. I’m onto you, buddy.) This made me immediately think about a story involving dirty dish water and Lauren, and I couldn’t stop laughing. Perhaps we can convince her to tell the story. It’s really funny. I cannot believe I hadn’t shared it with the husband before, but, for that one, it is never too late.

This series of conversations led me to think of a story involving my father-in-law, whom I love very much.  My FIL has a thing for vacuums. What, you say? Yes. Vacuums. Let me be the first to say I think this is pretty weird. It’s ok that you do, too. But serious. I think the entire family has a thing for them. He has like six of them. In the early days of dating the husband and when he lived at home, I spent a good deal of time at their house. More often than not, FIL would come home with a new find. Dual motors! A Rainbow. Pet friendly ones. On this particular occasion, he came home with this gem: a bagless windtunnel. Boy was he so excited…SO EXCITED. Also, he had like five other ones in the house.

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Fast forward a few days. Here. I’ll set the scene for you. FIL had a dog (I will let you in on a secret. Said dog was the only dog in existence that I had ever liked. Nay, loved. He was a big, red, golden retriever and smelled like shit. Sweetest dog.) Dog was getting up there in years. The dining room had a dark blue carpet underneath the dark wood dining room table.

We were in the basement watching television. FIL was going to finally break out this bad boy and have at it. He was so excited. The Holy Grail of vacuums. And here we go….We are watching tv. Minding our own business. We hear the vacuum running for a while. Suddenly, we hear screaming. Loud, angry screams riddled with profanity. Startled, we run up the stairs to find FIL steaming mad. A red face. Deep, panting breaths. Anger rolling off of him in waves. What happened? He was using his brand new, precious, bagless windtunnel vacuum without any lights on in the house when it happened. The dog, who was getting up there in age and occasionally had accidents, had shit on the dark blue carpet in the dining room. FIL had sucked it up. Into his brand new, precious, bagless windtunnel vacuum.

I cannot tell you how hard I laughed. I laughed for hours. In fact, I continue to laugh uncontrollably at this story. Tears are streaming down my face as I type this now. I, in no way, am trying to be disrespecting to FIL. He can probably laugh at it now. I just wanted to take a minute to remind you that things aren’t important. What is important are the people in your life that give you love, support, fond memories and let you be you. And….the stories and memories they leave behind.

Cheers!

Lauren:
Per request, the utensil water story.

We work in a school.  We eat lunch in the cafeteria.  There are bussing stations where people throw away their trash, stack their trays, and dump their silverware in a bucket of water.  Now, as we have discussed, I am clumsy.  Unaware of my surroundings.  I drop things.  I spill on myself.  I fall down.  Graceful, thy name is Lauren.   

So on this fateful day, I was bussing my tray as per usual, and I plopped my silverware nonchalantly in the dirty soaking utensil water – which proceeded to splash back at me…  into my open mouth.  That’s right – I drank the dirty utensil water.  Caked with old food, cleaner, and who-knows-what-else.  And Katie choked laughing / vomiting at me.  

I proceeded to wash out my mouth, drink, gargle, hurl…  gross.

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And while we’re sharing embarrassing / gross / funny stories, let me tell you about my first few weeks living in Fells Point, MD.  Before I got my permit for street parking, I had to park a few streets over, closer to sea level, and there was that car flood situation.  Ok, you’ve heard that one.  But the story that is “the rooftop of my life” there is this:  I returned home from work one day early, 2pm, let’s say.  Upon parking and walking towards my building, I noticed an elderly, Santa-esque man near my front steps.  As homeless people are common in the city, but not necessarily on my street, I didn’t at first recognize this man as homeless and probably a bit insane.  Think I’m being mean?  He pulled down his pants and took a dump on my front stoop!  HE POOPED ON MY STOOP!  

What does one do when encountering old man ass waving in the wind upon one’s front door?  I stopped walking, mouth open, crossed the street, and waited.  I didn’t want to get too close for fear of said poo being thrown at me, should I confront him.  So I waited, let him finish, tried to look avert my eyes, but I was also anxious about what would happen next.  He kind of dabbled at his arse with a piece of paper or something, buckled up, and left.  

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I walked over, throwing up in my mouth, and thinking, why is no one else here to witness / share this with me????  

So I took a photo of the liquid crap, sprayed over my $1500 a month apartment front stoop, and sent it to my mom with the message, “A man pooped on my stoop.  I witnessed it, so you get to share in my pain.  You’re welcome.”  She immediately called half laughing, half gagging and asked if I wanted to come home.  

Sigh.

Did I clean it up, you ask?  Hells no.  I left it there so my roommate could share in the pain, as well, and then hoped it would rain.  It did not.  But the poop was gone in the morning.  The mystery of the stoop poop still remains unsolved, but I have a feeling a few city feral cats took on the job that night.  And to them, I am eternally grateful.

The end.