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Tag Archives: Maryland

Many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea: Adventures in Baltimore, Part Four

OK, I’m super-sick, but I am determined to soldier on. I AM A BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER. I went to a play tonight and now I am home and feel like utter crap but at least I feel like crap on my couch. That’s the best place to feel like crap, probably. Or your bed. Your bed is also a good place to feel like crap. Preferably with a Dumbcat curled up purring next to you because Dumbcats make you feel better when you are coughing and feverish. Or at least they try to.

And, before I get started, happiest of all happy Mother’s Days to all the mothers who are reading. This is all-inclusive and includes everyone who does mothering, even those who haven’t birthed an actual child through their actual birth canal in an ouchy-ouchy way. So, all mothers of all things, and people who adopt, and same-sex couples, and dads who single-parent, and moms who have lost children, and anyone else I might be forgetting  – you are all wished the happiest of days from me and I celebrate every one of you. All the love to all of you. Amy’s Mom received so many roses this year and was so surprised because I could never afford that before, and they are in many places in her house and I got a “YOU ARE THE BEST DAUGHTER!” so that was a total Mother’s Day win in Amy-land.

So, now we are on to our last day in Baltimore, which was Sunday. We decided to not do a billion things on the last day, mostly because we were very tired. Well, at least I was. And R. and A. were nice enough to agree they were as well, whether or not they REALLY were. We did so many things! It was time for a little calmness.

Our trip Sunday was to something MERKAN! And NATIONAL! And PATRIOTIC! Any guesses?

Fort McHenry!

Now maybe you don’t know about Fort McHenry. I didn’t know about it. Other than it was something Merkan. Here are some bullet-points about Fort McHenry if, like me, your school was sadly lacking in good American History classes (or perhaps you kind of had a little crush on your American History teacher so you spent time daydreaming about him and not paying as much attention as you should have, I don’t know your life):

  • It is three things: a National Park, a National monument, and a historic shrine
  • It was an actual fort in the war of 1812
  • It defended against a British attack in Baltimore harbor in 1814 (were you aware the war of 1812 was so LONG? I wasn’t)
  • While watching the battle, a Washington lawyer was so impressed by the fact that the men at the fort held off the British and that the American flag stayed flying the whole night through, he was inspired to write a song. What do you think the lawyer’s name was? Well, it was Mr. Francis Scott Key. And that song was the “Star Spangled Banner.” BAM, MOFOS!

Yes! This is the actual place that inspired our NATIONAL ANTHEM! MERKAN HISTORY, YOU GUYS!

Now, I feel the need to give you a disclaimer. I know I kind of bag on Merka. Mostly by calling it Merka. And shaking my head at things that happen here in Merka, like Truck Nutz and Fox News. But here’s a huge secret, that, ironically, will not be a huge secret once I tell you: I love Merka. So much. I am so jazzed by the history of my country. It makes me have goosebumps. It makes my whole heart thrill. I love the thought of my scrappy forefathers who believed so strongly in our country holding off against the British. I love the national anthem. I love history and battles and monuments and things that made our country great. I think our country could still be great. I believe a great deal in our country, and it makes me sad, what it’s become. Dad finds this fierce patriotism of mine funny. “For someone who’s part of the enemy’s team, you really do love our country,” he says. (The enemy’s team = Democrats.) “You might be the only Dumb-o-crat who actually loves America. So that means you’re not really a Dumb-o-crat and you’re just confused. Any day now you’ll come over to the right side.”

First we walked all around the fort. Guess what I stood on? NO, GUESS!

THE RAMPARTS! The ACTUAL “o’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming!” I WAS ON THE RAMPARTS!

There were many cannons. This whole place was surrounded by cannons. ALL THE CANNONS. I wanted to ride on a cannon because that seemed very Merkan, and we even found one cannon that didn’t say “Don’t climb on this, Amy” but it was kind of rusty and I was afraid I’d get my pants dirty.

This is the view when you’re walking around the Fort. It’s beautiful. The bay is right there and you can see all the boats. It was a little chilly and windy, but that’s what happens when there’s water.

I kind of forgot to take enough photos. Luckily, A. took some photos and he’s GOOD, you guys. Like, artistic-good. He said I could steal. I’m giving credit, so it’s not as much STEALING as it is kind of borrowing, I suppose.

Look, he has this awesome setting on his camera where he can take a bunch of photos and make them into ONE LONG PHOTO!  Isn’t this so pretty?

So we walked all around, then we went INTO the fort, and you could go into some of the rooms. One of them had teeny-tiny cells in it where TRAITORS were kept. Traitors, you guys! Here is an interesting historical tidbit. During the Civil War, one of the traitors kept there was Francis Scott Key’s grandson. He was an editor of the Baltimore Sun, and he wrote an editorial that said although he didn’t approve of the South’s decision to secede from the Union, he didn’t think we should use military force to get them back, and he also criticized the Lincoln administration. WELL! That did not sit well with the powers that be, and they not only locked him up, they shut down the whole paper. SHUT DOWN THE WHOLE PAPER! See, civil liberties were limited during the Civil War. Anyone could be jailed if they were accused of disloyalty or treason, without a trial; martial law was put in place; censorship of journalists and papers was the norm. Doesn’t this scare the shit out of you? It does me. I had no idea about any of this.

Look, I was making history today by visiting the fort! MERKAN HISTORY!!!

There were things in the different rooms like exhibits and tableaus and various things. There was a big flag that was a recreation of the actual flag that inspired the national anthem. It was all very historic and I liked it all very much.

Then we had a picnic! With baby CeeVee!

It was her first picnic. As you can see, she enjoyed it a great deal. That’s A. in the background. I think this is the only photo of A. I got the whole time I was there. But look, he does exist!

CeeVee and I played a game called “Grass is the best!” in which she would pull up all the grass and then hand it to me, and I would say, “Oh! Thank you!” and she would laugh and laugh and give me MORE grass. Grass is her favorite. Even better than grass? Dandelions. She LOVED dandelions. R. told her not to eat the dandelions, and then she picked another one and almost ate it, and then looked at it very sternly and said, “NO” to it, which made ME laugh and laugh.

Dandelions are the BEST! (And A. is the best photographer, isn't he?)

Dandelions are the BEST! (And A. is the best photographer, isn’t he?)

Seriously, she's the best thing. Look at that smile.

Seriously, she’s the best thing. Look at that smile.

Then she decided to go adventuring and did an homage to a famous painting.

Wyeth’s version…

…and the Baby CeeVee version…

I like CeeVee’s version better, but I’m biased.

Then we went to the gift shop, where you could buy things like weaponry and muskets and swords (I didn’t buy those things, I mean, would they even let me bring them on the train?) and then we went on a long long looooong tour of Baltimore and A. and R. showed me a lot of beautiful buildings that I hadn’t seen yet. Dear Baltimore, I am very much in love with you. You are just the most beautiful city full of endless wonder. I am looking forward to returning.

Oh, a thing I noticed in Baltimore that made R. laugh because I kept noticing it was very brightly colored pants. Like, RED! or GREEN! and I think they were jeans. Is that a thing? I don’t know that that’s a thing around here. Whenever I saw them I would stop what I was doing and say “MORE BRIGHTLY COLORED PANTS!” and R. would laugh. The first time I did it, R. said, “You are the most random person I know, Amy.” And yes. Yes, I sometimes am that. But in my defense, those pants were VERY brightly colored.

Then we spent the rest of the day relaxing and I did some internetting and we ate some delicious Chinese delivery and talked and laughed and R.’s friend stopped over to visit for a little while, and that was nice, and then we watched a little television and then it was bedtime, because the next morning was early early early departure for the train.

Then the next morning it was goodbye to R. and Baby CeeVee so R. could get to work and CeeVee could get to daycare! (And since I left? CeeVee is WALKING now! I knew while I was there she was so, so close! SHE IS WALKING HOORAY!) And then A. brought me to the train station, and it was time to make my way back home to my very lonely Dumbcat who thought I was dead and was SO pleased I was not.

The trip home was mostly uneventful. At one point I fell asleep and I think I might have snored, as I do, because when I woke up I had post-snore sore throat and people were looking at me like I was a crazy-person. Sheesh, calm down, it’s not like I was in the SILENT car. It was just the NORMAL car. And in the New York waiting area (which is in Penn Station, and Dad calls that “Grand Central Penn Station”, as in “Don’t go getting murdered in Grand Central Penn Station, Amy, people get murdered in that Grand Central Penn Station all the time!”) some sort of cop was hitting on me until I pretended I was furiously reading so he stopped talking to me. Explain, please, why it is that no one in the history of my whole life has ever randomly hit on me that I’ve been in the least bit attracted to?

Thank you for sticking around for Adventures in Baltimore! It was the best time and I’m so glad I got to go and see some of my most beloved people. Thank you so much, R. and A., for being the best hosts! Now it is time for this sickie sickerson to go to bed and sleep like the dead. Or at least like a person with a weird feverish sickness. Happy weekend, everyone!

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Many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea: Adventures in Baltimore, Part Three Point Five

This isn’t a REAL “adventures in Baltimore” post. It’s more of a continuation of yesterday’s post, which just got too crazy long. Plus I got really tired. I have to get normal amounts of sleep one of these days, yo. I’m in a weird walking-through-mud not-enough-sleep-space lately. That does not make for a cheery Amy.

OK! So if you’ll remember back to yesterday, we went to the zoo, then came home to see how A. did in his race. How did he do? JUST AS WELL AS HE WANTED TO, YAY! Also, he got a crazy sunburn. The best part of his sunburn was that he was wearing a biking outfit? They probably have a name, I don’t know what it is. You know, the spandex one-piece biking suit, like they wear in the Tour de France? And so where the suit was and his arms and legs came out was a VERY CRISP LINE where the sunburn started because those suits are tight. I fretted at him that he needed to wear sunscreen from now on. I think he ignored me. WEAR SUNSCREEN FROM NOW ON, A.!!! Look, I found this for you. It’s a spray, it dries DRY, not STICKY, so all the road-dirt will not get all over you, and please use it from now on because I like you very much and sunburns are scary.

See? Neutrogena is the good stuff! GET SOME OF THIS PLEASE!

See? Neutrogena is the good stuff! GET SOME OF THIS PLEASE!

So when we got home, A. was there, and A. was on Baby CeeVee duty for the evening, and R. and I got all ready for our NEXT adventure, which was…

DINNER AND A SHOW!

R.’s friend S. met us at the house for our adventure. I did not change my clothes. R. and S. looked ADORABLE so probably I should have but I didn’t bring anything stylish so I told them I could be their country cousin who’d never been to the big city before. Also, S. had the cat-eye glasses that I covet, and also the most adorable stylish shoes and tights. I was kind of impressed with S.’s sense of style, yo. Want to know the secret of my sense of style? It is A., what is clean? and B., will these shoes be comfortable if I’m walking long distances? That’s it. That’s the entirety of it. Oh, also I like necklaces. That’s all. Fin.

So first, we went to a teeny-tiny tavern for dinner. What was it called? Well, it was Baltimore…and who do they love in Baltimore? Edgar Allen Poe…and so it was called…

The Annabel Lee Tavern!

I didn’t take photos at ALL that night. I’m totally ganking all of these from the internet. Sorry, world.

It was so perfect, this place. I was crazy in love.

Look how pretty! The walls were all this mauvey color, and it was all mismatched furniture and Poe quotes and candles and Poe-paintings and it was totally moody and amazing. Seriously, THIS is how you do a themed restaurant. I hope it makes all the money and stays open for years to come.

R. knew I am attempting to have The Year of Trying New Foods so with that in mind, we decided to have three appetizers and share them, rather than three meals, so we had:

  • Baked Brie en Cruet! This was brie in pastry with what seemed to be jam on it but the menu says it’s brown sugar and pecans. This was ok, but you’d think with all of these things, it would be AMAZING, right? I wasn’t sold on this. But I’m not a huge Brie fan (is Brie a capitalized thing? It looks weird if I don’t capitalize it) so that might be why I didn’t love it. It wasn’t BAD, it just wasn’t AMAZING.
  • Crab Dip Flatbread Pizza! R. said I couldn’t leave Baltimore without having SOMETHING with crab it in. This was good, but again, not amazing. I think it needed more crab. I’m very crab-oriented. I could eat crab, with crab topping, on a bed of crab, garnished with a little crab, and be happy, you see. But, again, I liked it.
  • Duck Fat Fries with Herbs de Provence! O.M.G., you guys. OH. EMM. GEE. WHY DIDN’T YOU PEOPLE TELL ME ABOUT SUCH A THING BEFORE NOW? OK, here’s the thing. I don’t like fries much. I could live the rest of my life without eating fries again and I wouldn’t miss them much. I know, a lot of you are gasping right now; fries are a thing that some people crave. Like pasta. I could live forever without pasta and would be a little sad, but ok. (Now, take away chocolate, or bread, and we’d have a fight, yo.) But THESE fries? They were perfectly crispy. The seasoning was salty and herby and just right. And I don’t know if the magic was in the duck fat, or what was going on there, but seriously, I wanted to put my face in the dish and just start chomping. I don’t know that I’ve had an appetizer EVER that has been this good. So, yes. Instead of crab, the thing I discovered that I am in love with while in Baltimore (other than, well, Baltimore, and Baby CeeVee) is DUCK FAT FRIES WITH HERBS DE PROVENCE FROM THE ANNABEL LEE TAVERN.
This is not them, but close. If you are not a vegetarian-type, get yourself some of these, yo.

This is not them, but close. If you are not a vegetarian-type, get yourself some of these, yo.

Next, it was off to the theater!

The theater area was GORGEOUS. It was totally a mini-Broadway. I was muy impressed. Our theater was called The Hippodrome.

SO PRETTY!

SO PRETTY!

It’s an old-timey theater. It looks a little like our Proctors here, maybe a little smaller. I am a sucker for a pretty theater.

Pretty inside, right? S. said it was like being on the Titanic. I liked that.

Pretty inside, right? S. said it was like being on the Titanic. I liked that.

Now, what do you think we saw at this theater? (Mom? Dad? If you are reading this, because I know you’ve been following adventures in Baltimore, you should stop now. Well, Dad, you can stay. Mom, please read something else. Maybe a nice book about kittens. Or the Bible. Dad, you know I’m vulgar. And it alternately makes you laugh and/or shake your head. So you can stick around, I suppose.)

Well, I don’t know if you remember, but last year around this time, I posted a review of what is possibly one of the worst books I’ve ever read. It remains one of my most-read posts. People apparently love reading about terrible books and me ripping them to pieces in a snarky way. Also, do you know what else people love? Bad porn.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen; we went to see…

YES WE DID!

Listen, this was a big theater. I should have been more worried when I realized it was completely full. Mostly of giggling women. Wearing inappropriate clothing like hooker-shoes and very low-cut tops. Here or there was a man, but the men did NOT look excited to be there. No they did not.

So we got to our seats, but not without trials and tribulations. Apparently the ushers were not sure where the seats were. Even when we showed them our tickets. (Well, I should say “ticket”. Or even “piece of paper,” because when R. went to the will-call window, apparently they were out of tickets so they gave her a piece of paper with our seats written on it.) One man told us to go to one door and another man sent us further on and a woman told us we were in the wrong place and SIGHINGLY led us over to OTHER seats. Sorry we’re bothering you, ushers! Whose job is to ush!

So. The show.

Well, in good news, it was a parody, which I didn’t know going into it. I was picturing that it was going to be actually a serious theatrical version of the worst book EVERRRR.

Here’s the plot in a nutshell: three book-club ladies, two married, one sad-sack whose husband just left her (everyone keeps saying “Oh, CAROL”) read 50 Shades of Grey as their monthly pick. They then daydream about certain scenes, and actors playing the characters come out. Oh, also they talk about sex and masturbation a lot. And fisting. There’s a lot of talk of fisting.

The actor playing Christian Grey was a short, overweight Asian man, which was supposed to be super-funny, especially when he came out and the actress playing Ana was all “HE WAS SO TALL AND HOT AND DREAMY!” There were songs like “I Don’t Make Love” (with lines like, “I don’t make love, I fuck”) and “There’s a Hole Inside of Me” (this song was FILLED with euphemism) and “Red Room of Pain” (this one had lots of props, like whips and dildos.)

The audience LOVED this show. I don’t know that I’ve heard laughter like that in ever. There was one guy who may or may not have been drunk who was loudly heckling. The actors had nice voices. And they were acting, and not badly. There were some dancers. Who danced well. No one got naked, and the dreaded tampon scene wasn’t represented (whoo) but there was some down-center doggy-style action, and some disturbingly animalistic cunnilingus which made me feel terrible for both of the actors involved.

I’m a terrible theater snob, you guys. I think it’s gotten to the point I can’t enjoy something like this. I know. I KNOW. I’m one of those snooty assholes who says things like “stage picture” and “believability of character” and such. I don’t know if it’s the show, or if it’s the book the show’s based on and my hatred of it, or the fact that the theater was FULL, and would the theater have been full for something like A Streetcar Named Desire or Fat Pig or A Midsummer Night’s Dream? My guess is no. No, it would not be. And should I just be glad that people are SEEING theater, or should I be upset that this is all the theater some people see? And should I be upset that this kind of thing tours, but good shows close all the time because they don’t have audiences?

And this is what I thought about for an hour and a half, while the actors mimed oral sex and put dog-collars on each other and talked about giving up all of your personal freedom to someone just for some really rough sex.

Is it a good or a bad thing that being a theater snob seems to have taken away my ability to enjoy something stupid for a couple of hours? Or HAS it taken that away? Was it just that I hated the book so I couldn’t force my brain to like the show? The whole audience was really digging it, yo. I was the only sourpuss.

R. and S. enjoyed it, though. And the theater was REALLY pretty. Also there was popcorn for sale, so I totally bought some and ate it while I was watching the show. You could also buy alcohol. I think they wanted you to be drunk to watch it. Although R. said the wine was terrible, and also it was like $9 for about 4 ounces. Not a good deal at all.

Here, I found you this so you don’t think I’m making this all up.

Then we went home and played CSI. Why was the dining room chair in the computer area? Why were there two water bottles on the stove? Why was there a half-eaten piece of pizza on the counter? We thought maybe A. and Baby CeeVee had been kidnapped by ne’er-do-wells, but no. They were asleep. It was just a very long night and A. got tired because he’d been racing in the sun all day long.

OH, also, I totally ALSO got a sunburn, even though I put on all the sunscreen. Guess where? The stupidest place ever. THE PART IN MY HAIR. Who would think to put sunscreen in their HAIR? Not me! And now my head hurts there. Nice. I’m going to be the first person to die from skin cancer of the scalp.

Off to bed, chicks and chicklettes. One more of these, but you might not get it until…um…Sunday? Monday? Big week coming up. Three plays to see! Dinner with friend N.! Work all day tomorrow and Saturday! A review to write! Hanging with The Nephew! Auditions for the next show at my theater! SO SO BUSY!!!

Until then, remember: duck fat fries, good. Anything 50 Shades of Grey related: no. Not good. Not at all.


Many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea: Adventures in Baltimore, Part Three

OK, here we are with part three. On the THIRD day, we did SO MANY THINGS.

First, let me tell you a story about A. Did you know A. is a championship bike-rider person? YES! IT IS TRUE! He runs a whole bike TEAM! And rides in RACES! And has all kinds of MEDALS! That clink pleasingly when you walk past them! I’m being a little facetious, but it’s totally all true. Here’s what’s the best about this: A. is so passionate about this. It is so much fun to listen to him talk about it. I am all about people having passion about things. I think passion is what makes life interesting. And people WITH passion about something – and I don’t care what it is, as long as it’s not scary and hurtful, like murder – make me happier than happy. Do I know anything about bike racing? Nope. Have I even been ON a bike in like, twenty years? Nope. Was I totally happy to listen to A. talk about HIS love for it? Absolutely. Could have listened to it all day. Because it made his whole face light up. And that made me overjoyed. People with passion are AWESOME.

So on Saturday, A. had a big race, and when I told him “YOU WIN THAT RACE!” he could NOT win, he was in the race to make sure that another guy on his team won, and to knock other people out of the competition. “By throwing gravel at them?” I asked. “No. No gravel-throwing,” said A.

His big race meant it was me, R., and Baby CeeVee for the day! And where were we going?

THE ZOO!

Luckily, R. is a member of the zoo, so we got to go through a special MEMBERS-ONLY gate! There was no champagne. I thought there should be. Membership has its privileges, you see. But apparently, the only privilege was going through the good gate quickly for free. That’s pretty cool. I’ll take it.

You take a shuttle to get to the zoo, or you walk. It’s a long walk. We had a stroller. We took the shuttle. It was so vibratey I’m pretty sure people could use it in place of a washing machine to get afternoon giggles, seriously.

When we first walked in, immediately, there was…

A red-foot tortoise! He was very active and crawled all around. I liked that. Tortoises make me happy. As do turtles. All happy shelled animals are my favorites.

First, something for Jim!

The ravens that are the ACTUAL RAVENS that are the mascots for the Baltimore Ravens! Aw, Jim, you LOVE the Ravens! What? What’s that? You actually HATE the Ravens? Oh, sorry. Sorry about that.

Ravens are very cool and larger than you would think and they have really sharp beaks. One was eating a chick. No, really. A baby chicken. There were feet dangling out of the raven’s mouth.

Here’s the other raven. I liked the ravens. I would like one as a pet. I would set him against mine enemies.

This was an arctic fox. He was taking a little napper. He also smelled like a skunk, but I don’t think that means he was a skunk in disguise. I think it’s just a thing, like how bearcats smell like popcorn.

There was a children’s area where you could do children’s things. Also if you were an adult who has the heart of a child, I suppose. So, in honor of that…

…I of course had to conquer a giant turtle and point at him menacingly as if he’d been naughty.

Mostly I was going to take a photo of this sign and say something snarky like “Don’t you tell me what to do, SIGN,” but then I realized this rock is kind of totally a euphemistic rock, right in the middle of the children’s area. Someone’s totally aware of this, right? Like, this is totally a man-made structure. SOMEONE DID THIS ON PURPOSE.

This is a regular fox. He was also sleepy. All foxes must have gotten the memo to take a nap at the same time. FOX MEMOS! I like foxes. They seem both debonair and also crafty.

It’s kind of hard to tell, but these are INTERSPECIES FRIEND SNAKES! There are two snakes all curled up together here. One’s the redder one, and one’s the brown/cream one. They were the best of friends and possibly in love. These snakes were in a cave that was kind of scary and dark and also there were bats in there and R. did not like the bats, even though I told her that they were actually very good for us and would not really get tangled in our hair like on television and ate all the insects. I learned this from Andreas at the Central Park Zoo. That’s why it’s nice to have a sciency friend.

OK I WILL THANK YOU!

(SIDE NOTE: I actually couldn’t, because in order to be a turtle, you had to get into a very small turtle shell on the ground and put your arms and legs out the arm and leg holes, and I’m a grownup lady and would never fit in that turtle shell. “I think calling A. and asking him to help get me out of a child’s turtle shell would be a bad move, right?” I asked R. “Yes, probably,” R. said. We were both sad. Think of the photo op, right? Sigh.)

So instead, I did the next best thing. The sign told me to be a turtle, so be a turtle I would, dammit!

A zoo’s not a zoo without a cut-out thing to put your face in and pretend to be an animal that’s really for children but you do it anyway because you’re Amy. Nice job, Maryland Zoo!

These are itty-bitty baby pygmy goats. They were a little over a month old and SO WEE. Look how little! I said I wanted to pop one in my purse and bring it home and I don’t think the zookeeper approved.

Then R. and Baby CeeVee went into the petting zoo area. All that was in there was goats. Why not sheep? Confusing.

Baby CeeVee was highly interested in these goats.

SO interested! She didn’t even look at the camera! She was watching the goats instead! I think she thought they were large kitty-cats. Because she has a cat at home and that’s her reference point for furry things. Also, isn’t R. beautiful? She’s just as beautiful as she was the day I met her. I think she has a portrait of Dorian Gray in her attic.

GOATS GOATS EVERYWHERE GOATS! You could not feed the goats. Probably if you did, there would be a feeding frenzy and the goats would swarm you.

Out of the children’s area, into the Africa area. Where there was…

A TERRIFYING BUZZARD THING THAT LOOKS LIKE IT IS MADE OF PLASTIC IT IS SO SCARY.

These things were the worst, seriously.

There was supposed to be a tortoise exhibit, but instead, we had this.

TEMPORARILY CLOSED! This is worrisome. I’m really going to hope this means they’re either updating the exhibit or the tortoises are somewhere breeding, not that the tortoises died.

As I was taking this photo, a man dropped his phone into the rhino enclosure and was going to go over the wall to get it but he was convinced to ask for help instead so two zoo employees went over the wall for it. I kind of wanted to see a rhino cellphone stampede that resulted in the rhino taking selfies with the phone he won fair and square in one-on-one combat, but was denied.

Also, the rhino couldn’t be bothered. He was too busy eating all the things and showing us his bum.

Then there was an awesome bird sanctuary thing in the middle of the Africa area. It was cool in there and so pretty and the birds made awesome sounds and it was all shadowy and they’d just been fed so they were nomming on all the fish.

I tried a million times to get a photo of the spoonbill, who was ridiculously funny. He’s the one at the bottom of the photo looking at us. He was very funny scooping up fish from the water with his big old spoon of a bill.

This was a pretty African duck. I am a sucker for ducks even though when we were in New York Andreas told me that ducks were actually kind of evil. But look at his pretty red head!

This duck was separated from all of his friends so he was making the best peeping call and then a duck from all the way across the enclosure was returning it and when I made the call back at him he looked at me like we were besties. I ALSO wanted to pop this duck in my purse. I feel like that’s an internal struggle I deal with every time I’m at the zoo. I want to bring everyone home with me.

These were the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil ducks, all in a row. One was on one leg and all balancey. Hee!

ZEBRAS! Aw, hi, zebras! They did not want to be photographed. They hated the paparazzi.

Then one came out for his photo op! Hi, little guy, you’re all famous now!

SCARY OSTRICH! Ostriches scare the crap out of me. Because they’re so huge and also because one pecked my dad’s BFF at the drive-through zoo in Canada when I was little and we all kind of shrieked.

I couldn’t get a good photo of this thing. It had a scary beak, and like a dent in the front of his beak like he got in a car wreck? He looked like a mistake of nature, and therefore I loved him.

OMG YES PLEASE WHERE DO I SIGN UP FOR THIS HONOR?

Do you think Dumbcat would like a cheetah-friend?

Especially one as sleepy-purry as this one?

This was the sleepy cheetah’s girlfriend. She was also sleepy, but she was on the lookout for prowlers.

She could only stay alert for so long. Then she nodded off, too. It was sleepytime at the zoo.

Next was the monkey house. You know how sometimes people say things smell like a monkey house? Um. Yeah. There’s a reason they say that. WHOO!

I am not a fan of monkeys, especially ones that look like creepy old men. These were kind of cool because they’d just had a baby so every once and a while, a baby monkey would pop its head up and it was very small and almost (I SAID ALMOST!) cute. I couldn’t get a photo of it. Too small.

Tiny yellow frog! The tank was all, “THESE ARE TOTALLY ALMOST EXTINCT!” but there were like fifteen of them in the tank. Maybe they’re almost extinct because you guys have them ALL!

Happy fast lemur-things! This is the best photo I could get because they were zipping all over the place. There was ALSO a lemur-thing baby! It was TOTALLY adorable and was riding its mom’s back and we were so scared it would fall off because its mom was leaping around all fast, but it was clingy!

This is not the best photo, but it’s the mom and the baby lemur-thing. As you can see, I’m VERY scientific with the names of things.

We saved my favorite things for last.

GIRAFFES!

I was totally the giraffe whisperer. This one watched me the whole time. It TOTALLY wanted me to take it home. There were three giraffes and I gave them all names. I think this one was Raoul.

I love giraffes. I totally bought a giraffe necklace at the gift shop and have already worn it and I love it.

Elephants! They were far away but so pretty. One was getting a bath and most were just standing around doing elephant-things.

Elephant butt!

Prairie dogs! They made us laugh. They freaked out about EVERYTHING and then would all disappear into their holes and then slowly peep at each other and pop their heads back up. They were cheerful.

Finally…what’s last? Any guesses?

PENGUINS!!!

The penguins were just hanging out. Some were swimming. Some were waiting for fish at the little fish-door. They were very laid-back penguins. And they were OUTDOOR penguins! Not behind glass! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen outdoor penguins!

This penguin was way high up on the rocks and didn’t seem to know how to get down. I made a penguin-voice for him. “Guys? Hey, guys? A little help? Guys? Can anyone even HEAR me?”

Swimming penguins!

Waiting at the food-door penguin!

Just hanging-out penguin!

We might have spent an inordinate amount of time with the penguins.

Then it was time to go home! We had more plans that evening, and we had to see how A. did in his race, and also, did he throw gravel at the competition? ONLY TIME WILL TELL!

I was PLANNING on telling you about the rest of the day here, but it’s already half an hour past bedtime and I’m kind of exhausted, so soft-core porn will have to wait until tomorrow. Oh, whoops. Spoiler-alert, I guess.

OH! Also, there was a squished-penny machine at the gift shop, but the selections weren’t stellar. It was all, “check out other squished penny machines around the zoo!” but I had not seen any! So I got an eagle. Which wasn’t even a thing that was AT the zoo. BUT, on the way to the car, there was a squished penny in the parking lot! And it was a LION! Which WAS a thing at the zoo, only they were hiding (R. is convinced the lions are an urban legend; she has never once seen them out when she’s been there, and she’s been there a LOT.) So it was like it fell from the sky! Just for me! Aw, providence smiled on me!

Happy Thursday, people of the blog. Tomorrow: soft-core porn and more literary adventures, this time with FOOD!


Many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea: Adventures in Baltimore, Part Two

Here we are! OK, so we talked about the day I arrived…on to day two!

On the second day, R. kept CeeVee home from daycare so we could take her adventuring with us. When I woke up, she was a little shy, but she warmed up almost immediately. This kid is pure sunshine, seriously. I miss her already. Our most successful game was called “Pretend to Eat Baby CeeVee’s Fingers in a Most Delicious Way.” I would pick her up, and first she would play with whatever necklace I was wearing. I purposely brought necklaces that babies would enjoy. I learned that these are baby essentials from The Nephew. Then she would try to put the necklace in my mouth. I would say “UM YUM YUM!” and pretend to eat it. This would make her squeal with delighted laughter. Then she would try to put her most wonderful teeny-tiny baby fingers in my mouth, with similar “UM YUM YUM!” pretending to eat results, and most delighted baby squeals of laughter. This never got old, and once she realized it was the best time ever, it happened every day I was there. I was more than happy to oblige. If it makes a baby happy and doesn’t hurt me? I’m down with it. (And I learned in The Nephew’s case, sometimes even if it starts to hurt but makes the kid happy, you continue to do it, like catching him repeatedly at the end of a slide even though he’s kind of heavy and tipping him over and making him laugh and laugh and the next day your arms ache but you can remember the laughter and that makes the achey arms hurt less.)

On day two we had two plans. First, we went to…

THE NATIONAL AQUARIUM IN BALTIMORE!

It’s not even a rinky-dink aquarium, you guys. It’s totally national.

We parked on Level 8. That’s the Sea Turtle level. I was already excited and we weren’t even IN the aquarium yet!

Outside the aquarium there was…

THE U.S.S. TORSK! I mentioned that was a thing I might see in Baltimore and look! I accidentally did! A ship with a shark painted on it! RAWR! Also, hee, Torsk!

First there was a whole room of jellyfish! Jellyfish make me think of Finding Nemo. There were many kinds. These pretty little ones with long dangly bits…

These funny darty white ones…

These that look like floaty sea garbage but I promise are really jellyfish, just maybe jellyfish that have had a really hard life and are trying to make good but just…aren’t…making…it…

These gorgeous white ones that were mesmerizing, and also this photo turned out really well (and by the way, Baby CeeVee really liked the aquarium. We found out when we got there that no strollers were allowed, though, so poor R. had to backpack her all around, and Baby CeeVee REALLY liked to get handfuls of R.’s hair and just yank yank yank all while grinning cheerfully. R. didn’t even get angry. She’s such a good mom)…

These upside-down jellyfish which look like nature played a prank…

And this brown one, which was a lot bigger than this photo suggests and was very pretty but also probably the most deadly. I’m pretty sure a lot of the things in this room could kill you dead dead dead.

Here’s another shot of him and a little friend. SAY HELLO TO MY LEETLE FRIEND!

This is for Andreas and is the octopus. For some reason, Baltimore loved octopuses, and there were octopuses painted on people’s doors and buildings and things, and I liked that a lot and know Andreas would, too. You could not use your flash while taking photos of the octopus. The lady working there asked me if I knew why. “BECAUSE HE WILL INK!” I said cheerfully. She said, “Yes, he might do that!” so I think I win aquariums.

This is a very depressed yellow seahorse. I think the other seahorses wouldn’t let him play seahorse games.

This is the REDDEST SHRIMP EVER. I think it was a flame shrimp. ZOMG you guys how much do I want one of these? He’s kind of the coolest and the most jaunty. “BONJOUR!” says Jacques the Flame Shrimp. “Welcome to my love nest! Please to be taking off your shoes! Help yourself to some champagne!”

Ready for the best photo ever? Seriously, this should be on the brochure. I’ve never taken anything like this in my LIFE.

AN EEL THAT WANTS TO EAT YOUR FAAAAAACE!

Even A., who is like a super-professional photo guy and took a class and stuff and takes the BEST photos, was all, “whoa, how’d you do that with the glass there?” My answer, which probably should have been something filled with focusing and F-stops and such, was “I turned off the flash because I learned in New York City in March that if you use flash when there’s glass, you get a glare. Oh, also I zoomed.”

This is a Snowflake Moray. He is most scary and also kind of jaunty, and looks like he needs to blow his schozz. Need a Kleenex, Snowflake my man?

This is a sea urchin. I took this to remind myself to tell you all a story. See that fish way in the back there, through the spines? Well, there was a little girl at the tank with her grandmother. And the little girl said, “Gramma, won’t that fish get hurt by the urchin?” and the grandmother said, “That’s not real, honey, that’s tank decoration.” EVEN THOUGH THE SIGN SAID THE TANK CONTAINED FISH AND URCHINS. Because these types of fish hide in the urchin when predators come around and the urchin’s spines protect them from predators. I think the tank was supposed to show us how symbiosis worked. SERIOUSLY, LADY! I was so embarrassed and now that kid is going to go to school and have false knowledge. READ THE SIGNS OVER THE TANKS!

This fish is really, really big. I don’t know what it is. Just that it’s huge and it made me laugh with its huge old hugeness.

This is a pretty lionfish, I think. It looked like it had feathers. It was very dainty.

It’s very hard to tell, but this lump is a stonefish. No, seriously. The crescent shape on the far left is the mouth, and there are eyes somewhere. He’s like an optical illusion. Not a trick. If we’ve learned anything from Arrested Development, it’s that tricks are what whores do for money.

This fish had the funniest mouth I’ve ever seen and I stood at this tank laughing and laughing for the longest time. HE HAS A FUNNY KISSER. Also kind of a funny face. I don’t even remember what he was but he was MOST awesome.

Here he is at another angle. Look at his funny lips!

This fish really, really wishes you hadn’t worn that skirt today, because it’s too short. Also, he thinks you’re making a lot of inappropriate life choices, and he thinks you laugh too loud. Tone it down, says this fish.

I know I already showed you this guy, but I’m doing it again, because he balances out the Gloomy Gus up top. This is Cheerful Carl the Catfish! He is SO HAPPY you’re here. He’d like to thank you for coming, and also wants to know if there’s anything you need to make your day any better? He’d be happy to help. Seriously. Just ask. He’s right over here. Happily waiting. Anytime, chum.

This fish just looks confused, and also his face is too short for his body. What’s going on, fish? Why so bewildered?

This is a Blair Witch frog. He just would NOT turn around. I think the Blair Witch told him to stay facing the wall, dammit.

Also, SIDE NOTE, in the frog area was a group that I assume was a family. They did not speak English. There were two middle-aged men and a middle-aged woman. They were Hispanic and spoke very rapid Spanish. Español rapido! And at one of the frog tanks, they could not find a frog, and they were sad. Then one of them SPOTTED the frog! And they were happy! SO HAPPY, in fact, that they did a little dance and the two men HUGGED one another while pointing at the frog! And I was equal parts perplexed and touched at the joy that frog-sighting had brought this little group.

At the end was a shark walk thing, where you walked down this walkway and there were walls and walls of shark tanks all around you, and THAT was cool. This was the only shark who could stay still long enough to be photographed because if sharks don’t keep moving, THEY WILL DIE. Except maybe not this shark, I guess.

Look at his jaggedy teeth. Whoa!

Then we were done with the aquarium! We had lunch in the middle of the trip but I’m not showing you lunch. No fish were involved. And also we went to the gift shop and I bought a little key-chain thingy and also a present for Andreas but it’s a secret so you can’t see it. And neither can he, probably for a very long time, because it’ll be not until I send another package to the land of the Finns.

Next stop: FLOWER MART!

Flower Mart is a Baltimore tradition going back many and many a year. You can buy flowers or garden plants or many craft items or food or listen to local singers or watch interpretive dancers who confuse the heck out of you. The street is all closed off and it is a very pretty area I was very much in awe of.

Here is an old church that was near Flower Mart. I was obsessed with this church. It was the most beautiful of ALL the churches and R. and I agreed it reminded us of Europe.

This is the Washington Monument in Baltimore. I thought R. was screwing with me but that’s really what this is called! I like this photo because randomly I captured a bird and little does this bird know he is blog-famous right now. Also, look how pretty the sky was! It’s deceiving. It was SO COLD AND WINDY this day. And I was the goofball who forgot her sweater. I brought it with me all the other days but of course those other days, I didn’t need it.

This is the backside of a lion at the park near the Flower Mart where we took a timeout to give Baby CeeVee some snacks. Babies need to eat a lot, I assume to power how insanely awesome they are. I mean, if you were that awesome, I think you’d need a lot of calories, too.

This is another photo of that church. I WAS OBSESSED WITH THIS CHURCH YOU GUYS.

Also, this was a thing at Flower Mart. R. and I had to investigate when we got home.

It is called a Lemon Stick. And yes, it is exactly what it looks like: half a fat peppermint stick stuck in half a lemon. You suck on the peppermint stick and it kind of melts into the lemon and then you kind of suck and bite at the lemon and the sugar/mintiness of the peppermint takes away a little acidicness of the lemon. R. and I were SO PERPLEXED. And SO MANY PEOPLE HAD THESE! It’s totally a Baltimore tradition; we found a very good article about them in the paper.

And that’s about it for Flower Mart! R. bought some flowers and some household goods and I almost bought some gorgeous jewelry until I talked myself out of it because it was out of my price range and we did share a fried dough because SERIOUSLY, people, if there’s fried dough, you’ve got to get it. And it was the best fried dough. Totally light and not greasy at all.

Outside of the Flower Mart Jim had a whole art gallery named after his family, which was nice, because he hates Baltimore. I assume because there is a DIRE RIVALRY between their football team and his. Don’t be hatin’, Jim, yo. There’s enough room for all the awesome cities in the world.

When I told Jim this, here was his reponse.

Sheesh, Jim, YOU CANNOT HAVE IT ALL!

What’s that? You want to see what Baby CeeVee thought of her day out?

Well, luckily, I can show you that. I asked for permission to show you all Baby CeeVee and it was granted! R. said it was ok. THANK YOU, R.!

She LOVED it! Also, ZOMG, look at that face. Are you the most in love? I know I am. She’s ALWAYS this happy! She loves all things about life! I am just head over heels for this kid, most sincerely.

As you can see most clearly here. BEST OF FRIENDS AT THE FLOWER MART!!!

Time for bed for me, my little babushkas. Have the best of Wednesdays! More adventures soon! Tomorrow: ANIMALS and SOFT-CORE PORN! (Not related, but most definitely in that order!)


Many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea: Adventures in Baltimore, Part One

I’m home! A long, long, loooong day of trains and I got home safely late in the afternoon and now am safely ensconced on the couch with a heavily purring cat beside me, who I’m fairly sure thought I was dead. He had MANY meows when I walked in. And they were strange meows. Mrrrrow? Preeeeeow? Mrrrp? I think he was voicing his displeasure that I was gone. He’s not good at separation. He seems quite pleased now that all is well in Dumbcat-land. MOM IS HOME! SHE IS NOT DEAD!

So, let’s talk about the trip! I know, I was supposed to tweet more. Here’s the thing: I know some people can tweet and Facebook and such while they are having adventures, but I am not good at that. I feel that if you are on vacation, especially if you are visiting people you haven’t seen in a while, you should try to experience what you are doing and spend time with those people, and not have your face buried in your phone, you know? I know. This makes me out of touch and very much an old person. I don’t regret the decision, however.

So I went to Baltimore to visit friend R., her husband A., and their most wonderful baby CeeVee. R. and I have been friends for – are you ready for this? – TWENTY-ONE YEARS. I know! That is kind of insane! We met when we were seventeen at orientation for our part-time job freshman year, and worked together at that job for a few years, and then became roommates when we moved off-campus, and spent a semester abroad together, and moved across the country together. We have history. It is nice to know someone this long, you know? R. has known me through a lot of iterations of Amy. Naive Amy and happy Amy and sad Amy and depressed Amy and crabby Amy and jubilant Amy. And she’s still my friend! All these years later! That’s impressive, and she should probably get an award. You have to love someone who’s stood by you that long.

I have met A. once, briefly, but had not yet met Baby CeeVee, but had seen many photos and was very much looking forward to meeting her. She is just the most beautiful kiddo. Also, as mentioned, when you’ve known someone for 21 years, and they have a baby, well, you want to meet that baby. You want to meet that baby very much.

So I took two trains Thursday morning to Baltimore. The first was from here to Penn Station in New York and left VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING. Luckily, this meant no one was on the train and I had a seat all to myself. Then there was a little layover at Penn Station, but not long enough to jaunt in my favorite city in all the land, and then it was on to Baltimore! That train was VERY crowded, and I had to squish next to a lady that kept falling asleep and every time we went around a corner, the things on her seat-desky thing kept falling onto me. Annoying.

This pigeon was just cruising around the Amtrak waiting area in New York City. A very funny woman with much attitude said, "What's that bird doin' here? There ain't supposed to be no birds all up in here" and I laughed and laughed to myself.

This pigeon was just cruising around the Amtrak waiting area in New York City. A very funny woman with much attitude said, “What’s that bird doin’ here? There ain’t supposed to be no birds all up in here” and I laughed and laughed to myself.

But, no matter! ON TO BALTIMORE!

Outside of the train station in Baltimore, there is this statue, and it is gigantic:

It is called Man/Woman and from some angles it is a lady-statue and from some a man-statue and I decided that was a very good welcome to Baltimore because it was artsy and kind of fun in a weird wacky way, and if there’s anything I like, it’s wackiness.

R. picked me up and first, we went to a very fun café for lunch which had all the velvet Jesuses and R. said, “I thought you would like that!” and I DID. She knows me well. Next door to the café was this:

This is Café Hon, and apparently it was on Kitchen Nightmares and also has a huge flamingo because Baltimore is John Waters’ town and he is all about flamingos. Sometimes, people in Baltimore just see him walking down the street. Just walking! How exciting is THAT, I ask you? The answer is, the MOST.

Next, we decided to check out some HISTORY.

We were originally planning on going to the Poe house, but the Poe house was closed due to funding issues. Now, a thing I like very much about Baltimore (one of many things) is that they are very much into Poe, and celebrate him a great deal. Even their football team is called the Baltimore Ravens. After an author! I don’t even care what you think about the team itself, I find it very cool that they named it after a poem. There are also raven things all over town. This is a town that appreciates authors and poetry, you guys. How could I not love such a town?

Things I learned about Baltimore while we were driving to our next destination:

  • There are a billion beautiful old buildings. This city loves history and old things. You KNOW I love history and old things! I seriously was looking around with my mouth hanging open every time we drove anywhere the entire time I was there. Old churches! Old buildings! Old factories repurposed as office buildings! So much history it made my whole head swim!
  • There are a lot of people living there. The internets tells me that about 621,000 people live there. In comparison, Albany has about 98,000 people, and when I first moved to this area, I was AMAZED at all these people. Also, they are VERY AGGRESSIVE DRIVERS. R. and A. are ALSO very aggressive drivers. But, not in a scary way? Like, in an authoritative way. I think you have to be, or you will be killed. I was super-impressed. And, if you live there, you have to learn how to parallel park like a BOSS. I could never live in Baltimore because I have only parallel parked once in my life and I was TERRIBLE at it and it took me like three or four tries and I had plenty of time because no cars were coming, but in Baltimore, these people are all ZIP ZIP ZOOP! and they are in a spot that looks smaller than their cars. I was in awe of their parallel parking skillz, yo.
  • Some of the roads are very narrow and only hold one car, so if you meet a car coming at you, you have to pull over to let the car go. This seems ill-planned, Baltimore! And sometimes, even though it is not their turn, the other driver refuses to be the one that pulls over, so you have to, otherwise you would be playing chicken for like HOURS.

Then we got to our next destination, which was…

The Westminster Hall and burial ground!

What do you think might be here, I wonder? (Also, isn’t this a pretty old church? Seriously, if you love old churches but don’t have the time, money, or inclination to go to Europe, head on over to Baltimore. There’s one of these gorgeous churches on every single corner, almost. Almost every turn I’d be all, “YOU GUYS LOOK ANOTHER PRETTY CHURCH!”)

Well, here’s why people come to Westminster Hall and burial ground…

Poe’s GRAVE, you guys!!!

It’s very impressive and fancy and people come to visit this from all over the world. There were flowers all around it that people had left. That made me happy, because I love that writers live on far beyond when they’ve died. I’m a huge Poe fan. His work is utter brilliance to me, and I can’t believe it was written as long ago as it was, and it breaks my heart he died alone as if he was no one, not an amazing man with all these stories in his head. Who knows what else he might have written?

The cemetery was filled with old-timey wonder. I took many photos. Want to see? Sure you do!

This was the view into the cemetery. Isn’t it so pretty and moody? I bet it’s also very pretty at night.

R. told me that this was the place rich people wanted to be buried, because back in the day, there was a lot of grave robbing, and this was a very safe cemetery. There was a dental school right around the corner, and dental students used to steal heads to work on the teeth. EW HEE HEE AND YUCKO!

This was the street sign outside the cemetery for the Poe House. I was sad there was no Poe House on this trip, but listen, I loved Baltimore so much, I totally want to go back. Maybe it will be open next time!

This is me being cheerfully pensive next to Poe’s grave. I think he would have liked that. I feel Poe and I would have been the best of friends. He would have been all emo and I would have been all, “Argh, POE, cut that shit OUT, dude, look at your beautiful CITY! Let’s go down to the bay and look at boats. How can you be all ‘Masque of the Red Death’ while looking at BOATS?” and then we would have had none of Poe’s darker works but we might have had things like “The Shiny Bay of Amontillado” or something and that would have been nice.

There were a lot of these educational things around the cemetery. I like these things because sometimes they are unintentionally wacky. Like this one, which you can embiggen if you click. First, her last name was “Peachy,” which is funny. She married a guy, and “less than a year later she was dead.” Whoa, I’m pretty sure he murdered her. Then in italics, it says she was her husband’s “consort” and not his wife (MAYBE A WHORE!), and says “the enviable qualities of this interesting female” which makes me think they had nothing nice to say about her and those are euphemisms for “that Fanny Peachy, what a bitch whose husband murdered her.”

Then under that, it says that they used to call women “consorts” when they died before their husbands, and if their husbands died first, they were called “relicts.” Neither of these seem like nice things to say about someone.

R. and I laughed and laughed about this sign and made up many stories about Fanny Peachy and her murderous husband.

This is very specific about her time of death and also “long and painful illness” seems like a lie. She didn’t marry her husband while in the throes of this illness, so I’m still banking on murder. Also, look at the raven in the corner of the sign! Aw, love that!

I liked this because it looked like someone’s yard at Halloween, but it was really people’s gravestones.

This sign tells you what death terms mean, like “tomb” and “casket” and I find it the most morbid and therefore the most awesome.

This is, I was quite sure, a vampire tomb. But really it ended up being just where rich people are buried so those dental students don’t steal their heads to work on their teeth post-mortem, because it could be locked against grave-robbing students. I was still on the lookout for Eric from True Blood, though. Just in case.

When R. and I saw this we decided it was probably a table where virgins were sacrificed because it looks like where Aslan was sacrificed in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. There was no informative sign on it telling us otherwise, so we decided to go with that. Also I think my finger is a little in this shot. Sorry. I’m not the best photo-taker.

DOUBLE VAMPIRE TOMBS!!! Very romantic. Probably these are for Spike and Dru.

This cone was just hangin’ on out in the middle of the cemetery, so I decided it was my future tombstone. VERY classy. Just like me.

Next we saw this…

Another virgin sacrifice table! Only all bent! There was a sign next to it that said this was on Ripley’s Believe it or Not because it shouldn’t be able to stay up like this but it DOES. I know. IT IS HAUNTED!

I of course told R. she had to pose next to the creepy sacrifice table in a fun way. She obliged.

This is R. pretending to sacrifice an invisible virgin with an invisible knife. When we told A. that night that we’d taken this picture, he was incredulous. “You have to understand what taking pictures with Amy entails,” R. said. “There are antics.”

I totally obtained R.’s permission to put her on the blog. She did not care. She’s cool like that.

Also, we found out after we took the photo that these are NOT virgin sacrifice tables, but actually gravestones. We found this odd, because no one’s name was written anywhere on the table. So we think that’s a lie, and they are of course virgin sacrifice tables.

This is Poe’s FIRST gravesite, and where he was buried when he was just a schmo who died under mysterious and sad circumstances. Also, that’s totally my birthday he died, by the way. I KNOW WE ARE MEANT TO BE BFFs!!! Then they moved him over to the fancy monument gravesite. Poor Poe. I want to give him a hug and a cookie.

Then it was time to leave because it was time to meet A. and Baby CeeVee!

R. and A. live in the COOLEST HOUSE, you guys! I have never seen houses like this before. They are called row houses, and they’re like houses in New York City (or even downtown Albany) but with no alleys between them. So they look like this:

…except a little nicer and more residential, with porches with plants and things. Kind of like the houses on Sesame Street. They have a TON of character. R. and A. like them, but say there are downsides, like you can hear the neighbors, and if you come home late sometimes there’s a lack of parking. But the house is old, and very cool, and has wood floors, and A. is very handy so has fixed a whole bunch of things up, and it was just beautiful inside. There were two main floors, and then a full basement with a guest room in it! And I was the guest! YAY ME!

A. and Baby CeeVee came home not long after, and it was my first time meeting Baby CeeVee! And seeing A. again after a very long time! And after a moment of shyness, Baby CeeVee and I made fast friends!

I took photos of Baby CeeVee later, and this is attempting to go in order, so you’ll just have to wait a little for those.

Then all the waking up at 3am and traveling and sightseeing and such caught up with me, so I went to bed somewhat early. Because there were many more adventures forthcoming! AND I TOOK PHOTOS OF ALL OF THEM! Sometimes with me making wacky faces!

Stay tuned, bloggonians! Many more adventures await! I will do my best to do all the posting this week, but might be a little delayed – this week I have (and I am not even kidding) three plays, one review to write, one dinner with a friend, one lecture (I AM SEEING STEPHEN SONDHEIM IN PERSON Z!O!M!G!!!), household scintillating things like laundry and grocery shopping, multiple book reviews to write, and trips to the salon and the library. Also work. I KNOW! I couldn’t have more going on if I tried. I will do my best to tell you about Baltimore in a timely manner, though!

HAPPY TUESDAY EVERYONE! Also, as I came back into town, I realized that spring had sprung while I was gone, and everything is so beautiful and green! I missed you, Albany. Baltimore was amazing, but I love my home so much and missed it, too. I’m lucky like that.


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