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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Valentine's Day, Snow, and Rantish Thingy

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Valentine's Day, Snow, and Rantish Thingy

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alex awww
First of all, Happy Valentine's Day, Flist!

I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's Day as a "romance holiday," despite being married and therefore "entitled" to Valentine's Day benefits. But any day that makes people feel as universally bad as this one does not make me happy. Also, gifts and cards given because Hallmark says, "Thou shalt show thy love on this day!"...and it was? Nah, I much prefer surprises, Bobby buying me a little gift for no reason other than having seen it and thought, "Dawn would like that!" And going out on Valentine's Day...hmph. I don't think so! I do not wait in a vestibule for hours only to receive shoddy service because the servers are stressed and overworked on this day and bad food because the cooks are the same and are probably pre-cooking everything. (I used to be a cook; I know what goes on behind the swinging doors.)

And so I prefer to make Valentine's Day about all sorts of love, not just the romantic kind. So I send my best wishes to my flist.

Also, I would like to offer an LJ gift to the whole flist. I was going to buy a few of these for people that would appreciate the humor, but they cost 99¢ apiece and I--my friends--am cheap. So you get to see it in my LJ whenever you would like rather than on your userinfo page for two weeks.

This is especially dedicated to my lovely sister Sharon, ssotknapsack.

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Also, if you are on Ye Flist and would like a dose of Dawn Felagund heart-related poetry, then I dedicate this to you as well! With warnings because my poetry is baaaad.

Yesterday, I came home, and Bobby had bought me roses. Since he has done this for eleven years now, I do really enjoy it, despite generally disliking "celebrations" of Valentine's Day. Still, when we were fifteen years old, it was so special to get roses. And this marks the second time in one month that my husband has bought flowers for me because he got me flowers also after my biopsy.

He's a precious guy.

Anyway, he's making us manicotti for supper tonight, which we will have with Italian salads, bread, and chianti. The bread, I will admit, is garlic bread made out of old hot dog rolls. I love garlic bread made out of old hot dog rolls! This was really the only time we got garlic bread growing up, when Dad had hot dog rolls or hamburger buns about to turn moldy. Charming, isn't it? But hot dog rolls make fantastic garlic bread. Bobby asked me this morning if I would like some of the special crusty bread that he bought for me...or garlic bread made out of old hot dog rolls. Like that was even a question!

We did not escape the ice and snow unscathed either. It started yesterday, snowing lightly all day, but the roads were wet and nothing more. Around 3 o'clock, it began to change; the temperature dropped, and the roads started to freeze. Johnny the Boss sent me home early, and shortly after I got home, the proverbial All Hell broke loose. I called Johnny this morning and said, "Hey, it's Dawn," and he actually started laughing because he knew exactly why I was calling. I wasn't coming into work, which was not a problem since he--like every other cop I know--takes some sort of perverse pride in making it to work in dangerous weather. It actually took a while before I made him realize that I've been driving less than ten years, I drive a freakin' Suzuki Esteem, and for a long while, made near-poverty-level wages...it wasn't fair to ask me to risk my life to come into work. He's since come to his senses a bit.

I'm actually quite comfortable driving in snow--ice, however, is another story--but Marylanders being freakin' idiots about driving to begin with, I will not drive in the snow so long as there are going to be other drivers there. So I do not drive in the snow.

By early afternoon, the roads were all good again, but I'll be damned if I was going into work, so Bobby and I caught a late afternoon movie instead, The Last King of Scotland. Of course, I will be reviewing it later this week.

I came home and found an email in my inbox: I was the Most Productive Critter last week for the Critters writers' workshop, having done ten critiques averaging over 900 words each. Woohoo! Now, I will confess that it was out of pure self-interest that I did this because doing ten critiques or more allows a person to move her story to the top of the queue for critique. So tomorrow, I will do one final revision on "Cold Hands" and then put it in line to be torn apart by my fellow Critters. And then...who knows, but I've decided to start putting a little more on my wild card, so to speak.

I forgot to mention last week that Bobby was accepted into a guv'ment program to receive a Master's certificate in his line of work. It's quite exciting because Customs is expanding the operations of Bobby's office a bit, and we're hoping for a transfer in about two-year's time. That's all I'm saying at the moment...but let's just say that the 'gund is hoping to relocate to a friendlier climate. I was not meant to live in a place that has actual winters.

After I post this, unfortunately, I have to write another angry letter to our apartment community. I am apologizing in advance if I use uckfay a little bit in the rant that follows.

Even though the precipitation had stopped by mid-morning, leaving them an entire day to clear our walks, our front steps are currently a sheet of solid ice. There aren't even steps; it is more like a ramp constructed out of ice. Try walking a five-month-old puppy down that every time he has to piss. My feet won't even punch through the ice on the surface of the snow; I'm waiting to break my ass, and then I'll own the fucking Howard Crossing apartments.

I am truthfully getting really sick of this fucking community. We are currently on our third set of owners in the past year, and this set doesn't seem very keen on upholding their end of the bargain. We pay almost $1000 each month in fucking rent--for a one-bedroom apartment, yes!--and I do not think that I ask that much when I expect that when a storm ends by mid-morning, then the sidewalks and steps be cleared by night time. I don't care if the goddamn owner himself has to come and shovel the walks; why do I pay exorbitant rent? To break my ass walking the goddamn dog down the steps? No, I pay it so that their lazy, money-grubbing asses can come and do the work for me. Else I'd pay half as much and live somewhere else with lower expectations.

The good thing is that we're hoping to be house-hunting by the end of summer. We're just trying to get the last of the school debts paid off. The good news too is that we owe less in taxes than we expected thanks to Bobby paying his fall tuition out-of-pocket. Because rich folk like Bobby and me with our one-bedroom apartment ended up owing more than $1500 in taxes last year and Dick Cheney got a refund. Because that makes sense.

But anyway, I am hoping to say goodbye for good to stupid Howard Crossing and the drug-dealing asshats next door and their yappy dog. And maybe even get little Alex a yard to run around in.

ETA: Around 10:30 p.m., Bobby took Alex downstairs to pee and came back to announce that they were clearing our sidewalks. At 10:30 at night?? Still, they're clear now, which is good. I wonder if they got cleared because people complained; when a twenty-five-year-old in good shape has trouble climbing the steps, I can't imagine what some residents suffered. Our drug dealer neighbor currently hobbles around on crutches because he broke his leg in three places; I don't know how he would have managed.

Also, at noon today, the snow was soft and easily brushed from the walks, i.e. they didn't need pickaxes to remove ice thick enough to support my full body weight without breaking. So it would have made sense to have done it then.

Stoopid Howard Crossing.
  • (no subject) -
    • It really is the area in which I live. Howard County is the seventh most affluent county in the entire U.S.; it is mostly guv'ment higher-ups and biotech professionals who live around here, so the cost of living is through the roof. It's actually reasonable compared to, say, northern Virginia, where I dare not even consider the costs of a tiny place like this. Also, I remember when we were looking for apartments three years ago: then, the rent for this place was around $750. Yet, we found one-bedrooms in Howard County for $1500. Erm...no, that's okay. Still, our mortgage will probably be not too much higher than our rent, which is sad. And we'll get the tax breaks that come with it, so it'll even out or be less, in the end.

      The good thing is that if we ever do relocate, all of the areas where we're looking to move have much lower costs of living, so we'd clean up in that department. Living around here is nice in the sense that there's so much to do and Maryland is a really beautiful state...but the hassles (read: traffic) and expense can be wearying, at times.
    • I keep forgetting to tell you...while you were MIA, I posted a quibble for you! I wasn't sure if you'd seen it, so I wanted to make sure that you knew. :)
  • Yeah, the East Coast is getting our blizzard, looks like. We had a major blizzard yesterday (Tuesday), and wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, they actually decided to cancel gamelan practice! Possibly in recognition of the fact that having practice last Tuesday, in a similar snowstorm, right after two Friday-night traveling gigs in a row, was not the brightest thing they could have done. Anyway, since Hebrew class was canceled for sickness (mine, the professor's, and everyone else's), and gamelan was called off, I took a sick day from Southeast Asian Musica Practices, and I am glad I did.

    Because we are Chicago, and we know from snow, there were building managers out scraping the sidewalks while it was still snowing. They do this because they know that, when the storm ends, shoveling six inches of snow is going to be a bitch and a half, so they scrape a few times during the storm itself.

    They only plow the big streets, though, which meant an interesting time getting down to the library today, which I really shouldn't have done, but did anyway, stupid Pony.

    I love that you have this cheap-ass kind of garlic bread that you love. Everyone should have one food item that's a terrible knockoff of something really exquisite that they secretly prefer to the gourmet version.
    • That is good sense, to scrape the snow before it piles too high. During the blizzard a few years ago, Bobby, my sister, my mother, and I found ourselves shoveling three feet of snow off of a very long driveway. Not pleasant.

      Luckily, Dad got a snowblower the next year. I say "luckily" because we haven't had more than a foot of snow since.

      We don't have much snow...but we have a lot of ice! I'm personally ready for spring.

      I love that you have this cheap-ass kind of garlic bread that you love.

      Oh, I have many such things! Tonight, Bobby treated me to "hot dog slop," which is vegetarian hot dogs cut up in vegetarian baked beans...it is sooo good.

      And he also used the last of the old hot dog rolls to make me one final batch of my garlic bread!
      • That is good sense, to scrape the snow before it piles too high.

        Yes, well, we in Chicago have a little more experience with snow than do people in Baltimore.

        I shall have to try "hot dog slop." That sounds great. Too bad you're vegetarian and I can't retaliate with Mom Pony's old standard, "tuna glop."
  • I heartedly approve of that Valentine's Day heart! :D

    House ownership does get you some tax breaks, but at the cost of continuing maintenance. So it's six-of-one, half a dozen of the other. Still, it's nice to have the privacy of your own house, and when you own you build equity, so it's worth it in the end. End of summer's a good time to start your hunt, as people like to move during the summer and when fall looms on the horizon they're more willing to dicker on price.
    • Right now, since we have virtually nothing to write off of our taxes, not owing thousands of dollars each April seems a pretty good deal!

      And I'm getting to the point with the eejits in this community that I'd sooner fix and maintain my own stuff anyway, since we pay so much to live here (for the size of our place, which we've seriously outgrown) and yet they never fix things or take a half-dozen tries to get it right. *growl*

      Also, it will be nice not to live next to drug dealers...or have to accompany Alex to potty every morning, freezing my bum off while he sniffs around!
  • Singles Awareness Day! I shouldn't complain too much...I got a latte after my accounting test, courtesy of a friend (and I was totally taking out my card to pay! Haha) and I got some candy in management class. Motivation, anyone? *grin*

    So, it's officially been snowing basically non-stop for forty-eight hours. Yeesh. Coldest winter in twenty years? Yep. I'm very proud to say though that I managed not to slip and kill myself going to class today!
    • Good for you! Not killing yourself always makes a good day into a great day. ;)

      Candy and lattes for free-ninety-nine makes a great day even better!
  • Here, sweetie, have a kiss:
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    Hub bought me roses too! Aw. I'm a sucker for flowers... He got me a dozen red roses. He got Bec TWO dozen multi-colored roses! I guess we know who the #1 lady in his life is. *wink*
    • Awww...that's precious! Bec is a lucky girl; I never got flowers until Bobby and I started dating!

      My roses are multi-color as well, and I told Bobby that this makes sense: red for passion, pink for love, yellow for friendship, and white for purity.

      He laughed at the last one, silly man!
  • Happy (belated) Valentine to you too, and yay for non-romanticized, anatomically precise hearts. :)

    Valentine's is all the hype over here, only not among the grandparents. Grandma said something about there being flower sellers all over the streets, and wondered why. I said, "It's Valentine's Day," and prodded Grandpa to see if he'd buy Grandma some flowers. He blinked, said, "Are you crazy?" So I guess he probably didn't. :D
    • Ai, that's priceless! That sounds like my grandparents, who were more likely to curse each other out than do anything nice, though they loved each other, in their strange way. ;)

      And I have a bit of a thing about hearts in writing...my "broken hearts" are quite often literal, hee!
  • (no subject) - satismagic
    • Yes, well, you know that if we move to a seaside home with a nice warm climate, then we will need friends to come visit and test the water for us.... ;)

      Bobby is very much a holiday man. I am not so much a holiday person. But we've managed to compromise over the years...and I like to think that I've slowly won him over to my side! :^D
  • 1000 $? Whoa. I'll never complain about rents in Frankfurt again... but then the room I found is 225 € (about 300 $) with only a shared bathroom and shared kitchen... what I find rather expensive, too, especially considering it is supposed to be a house for students...

    And I like the heart. It shows wonderfully that in reality hearts are rather icky stuff. (I generally have a problem with the stuff I happen to have inside of me, mwahaha.) ;)
    • I love literal hearts in figurative places...but then, I am odd like that. ;)

      And our county is one of the most expensive in the country; people here are very rich...pity that Bobby and I must pay the prices without being rich ourselves. :^P We could move an hour north and pay half of what we pay here for our apartment...but we also have nice amenities and are fairly close to both of our workplaces. So it is a trade-off, in the end.
      • I love literal hearts in figurative places...but then, I am odd like that. ;)

        I have a problem with inner body parts in general. At school, I always got vaguely sick when watching these odd biology films... ;)

        We could move an hour north and pay half of what we pay here for our apartment...but we also have nice amenities and are fairly close to both of our workplaces. So it is a trade-off, in the end.

        It's the same here. I could have a bigger, more comfortable (and quiet!) apartment somewhere in the outskirts of town. But a five minute walk to university? That's priceless. :)
  • Mmmmmmmmm, garlicked hot dog buns...lupercalicious!

    • Yay! I am not alone in that, then?

      We had them again tonight, but the rolls are gone now...boooo....
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