Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Bat Saga

My new, giant apartment has many advantages, such as the ability to sleep without forced dreams of ironic jukebox music and a lingering haze of American Spirit cigarette smoke. However, the house is really old. How old? I’m not sure, but there is a furnace in the basement that appears to be powered by coal (or dead bodies). With old houses come critters. I get that. I’ve smashed a few ants and narrowly avoided stepping on a dead mouse in the basement already and I have evidently lived to tell the tale. Ok. Normal stuff. Nothing to be freaked out about. But that was just the beginning.

Freakin', REALLY?!

Freakin’, REALLY?!

It all started innocently, with a run-of-the-mill 3am text from Ariel that said “Bat!!! In the house!!!! Help!!!!!” I didn’t see this text until my alarm went off later in the morning, and somehow I had slept through the terrified screaming and slamming around. Years of living above a bar have hardened me to sleep-blocking noises. I laughed out loud, assumed she had drunkenly mistaken a shadow for a flying pre-vampire and hit the snooze button so as to look as gross as possible for work. I didn’t think anything else of it until the next evening when I was home alone, minding my own business in the living room and a giant black projectile brushed past my face, alarming me and the cat. I immediately took to Facebook and texts to alert the world that a bat had “divebombed my head”. In reality, it flew sort of near my general vicinity. But still. I was inside. There should not have been things flying at my face. Amber from Clueless and I have very strict rules about that sort of thing. There goes our social lives.

MEREDITH RABIES

I don’t love creepy-crawlies but at least I know how to deal with most pest situations. Bats are a different story. Bats are things of folklore and D-list vampire movies. I have never encountered one of these winged creatures and my only frame of reference is an amusing episode of “The Office” so naturally I assumed it would make a beeline (batline?) straight for my hair, get caught there and immediately give me rabies, thus turning me into a creature of the night. My knowledge of bats exists as a mishmash of every vampire pop culture reference I’ve ever heard, coupled with an emergent urge to leave the house and never come back in. Now, I know that bats are not the animal versions of vampires. I just have no other way of processing their existence in my home without likening it to information with which I’m more familiar. So, vis a vis, Alexander Skarsgard was basically tearing around my house until I was ready to catch him, at which point he would hide like no TV vampire has hid before. I looked through my whole house, in every nook and cranny and could not find the bat. I had no idea what I was going to do about it if I did come across it, but I felt I’d need to tell people I had tried.

Bite me.

Bite me.

I was not successful and I chose to ignore the fact that there was a bat somewhere in my house and go to bed. I was totally fine, sound asleep and dreaming about Robin Thicke’s blurred lines (or something equally culturally relevant) when Ariel came crashing into my room, screaming at the top of her lungs that the bat was in her room. She was legitimately freaked out, having woken up to the fluttering of black wings above her face, and had come to me for help. I said, “I’d prefer to keep sleeping” and did just that. I’ll go ahead and add “helpful in a crisis” to my resume. I doubt she went back to sleep.

We never did see that bat again. I awoke the other morning to a text from one of the neighbor girls that said, “Sorry if you heard a lot of screams at about 3am. We found a bat. Then I caught it and threw it off the front porch in a Gladware container.” Since I’d really like to not have to do anything to remedy the bat situation, I’m going to go ahead and assume that it was our bat who had crossed borders and met with his tupperware demise.

It just proves that indeed, nothing good happens after midnight.

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Front Porch Musings

This morning I woke up with a sense of purpose. Not to do anything particularly useful or productive but I did wake up and get up. So that’s new. Saturday and Sunday mornings had previously been reserved for getting up to feed the whining cats and then flopping back into bed until I felt like opening my eyes to play Candy Crush for a few hours, followed by some quality Netflix time with the possibility of a bathroom break. In my old apartment, there wasn’t anything else to do or anywhere else to really go but my bedroom. That’s my excuse. If I wanted to go sit outside, I’d have to buy a beer at The “Scenewhile” and go sit in their “beer garden”, which, let’s be honest, is a freakin’ patio. My only outdoor space was an alley between a grumpy man’s antique store and the bar, and yes, I have seen someone peeing in it more than once. It’s all about ambience, people.

So now, I live on this quiet(ish) street in Heritage Hill and although it’s only a mile down the road from the pee-filled alley, it’s worlds away. I have a gigantic porch on which to sit and sip my coffee on weekend mornings, and incidentally where I can get inspired to weave a little blog about that very subject. It’s funny to think about how excited I was to live in Eastown only a year and a half ago. I wrote a blog called “Eastown and Down” raving about all the culture and vibrancy I was to experience and how much safer and less ghetto it was than my previous residence in Little Mexico, near the Black Hills. That sentence looks a lot more racist than it is. The two places are literally called Little Mexico and the Black Hills. But after over a year of pretending the bar wasn’t loud underneath my attempts to sleep and that the alley wasn’t a disgusting mess and that the homeless crackheads who begged me for money every day were “just part of the culture”, I couldn’t go on with my guise of coolness any longer. I am not cool. I am not a hipster. I’m a 28-year old professional who likes sipping coffee (or beer) on her porch. There. I said it.

As I sit in this canary yellow patio chair that I inherited from a BFF’s parents, I can’t help but smile and wave at all of the morning joggers. Usually I’d scoff and mutter something mean under my breath but not this morning. The birds are chirping, there’s Bailey’s in my coffee (I didn’t have any cream) and the breeze is fluttering my greasy, greasy hair. If I want some overpriced coffee or a pastry, I’m only a block away from the Wealthy Bakery and Rowster. But don’t go to Rowster if you don’t know everything about coffee. They will judge you and they will be wearing overalls that one of their friends made out of organic materials. They do not have a menu and they will be shocked if you don’t know what they have or what you want. There is an apparent prerequisite to be psychic in order to patronize that place. I recommend going up the street a bit to the pee-filled alley area of Eastown and ordering your less pretentious coffee from the kind hipsters at The Sparrows. They have a menu and they’ll also make recommendations that aren’t dripping with resentment for the synthetic fabrics all over your body. Oops…rage tangent! Although there are pretentious vegans and other more earth-conscious people running rampant in this new neighborhood, there’s also a sense of pride that can be seen in more than just the “Heritage Hill Home” plaques adorning most of the house fronts on the street. They bike over to the farmers market and take their tiny dogs on walks while I wonder silently what the eff to put in my recycling bin.

But really, what?

Hooking Up (the Cable)

Since I’m sharing bills with two other people now, I’m finally in a financial position to have cable and internet (legal internet) in my home. I was pretty jazzed to know that it would all be set up when I got home from work since my roomies have non-traditional schedules and had made the appointment earlier. All day at work I daydreamed about the Instagram trolling, Youtube watching and Facebook stalking I would do when I got home. Food Network, E!, Lifetime, SHARK WEEK. I haven’t had TV in over a year and I was excited.

Holla!

Holla!

When I got home, however, I noticed the cable truck was still parked outside our house and a very…sturdy…woman(?) was galloping down the stairs past me. I said, cordially, “Oh, we must have cable now!” And she snorted a, “not yet” in response. I wasn’t too concerned with the timeline and wandered into the house to say hello to Ariel, Jasmine and a friend I hadn’t yet met. Jasmine and friend were on their way out to hit up some yoga (because I guess people do that) but stuck around to chat for a minute. Introductions were made and for some reason Ariel, who was sprawled on the couch in a half awkward, half seductive manner came down with a case of verbal diarrhea. She let loose a stream of sexually confused, predatory comments that she honestly just meant to be conversational friendship invitations. In the space of fifteen minutes, she had alluded to the new friend’s athletic body, invited her to sleep in her bed, asked if she needed to eat to get rid of the grumps and assured her that she usually looked better, so as not to have new friend think she was unattractive. I told her she was being really, really accidentally gay (but hilarious) which piqued the interest of Katie, the cable lady, who was lurking in the corner holding some cords.

cableguy

When I say “lurking”, I’m not being creative. I’m using the only word that would accurately describe this person standing in our living room. She snorted after almost everything we talked about, which ranged from bodily functions to sexuality to severe drug addiction. Don’t even ask. Jasmine and her friend had managed to escape the den of awkward and were safely on their way to yoga, but Ariel and I were still there with Katie, the cable lady. When she trudged outside again Ariel told me that she had asked to use our bathroom immediately when she arrived and didn’t come out for twenty minutes. If I have but one regret in life it’s not being here when the ogre of a cable woman camped out in our only bathroom. Oh, the jokes I missed. The opportunities for one liners. It’s a tragedy. Before Katie was finished, we were treated to the ins and outs of the cabling profession. She loudly complained about having to call into the call center to register our modem and got a little racist with the subject of outsourcing. She bragged about her overtime and sighed about answering questions for us before complaining about not having seen her kids all day. I barely heard her over the horrific realization that someone had climbed on top of her to put babies in her. She wasn’t pleasant and I can only imagine that gets worse with nudity.

After the rollercoaster of emotions that was Ariel’s accidental lesbian hunting expedition and the combination of Katie’s charming attitude and apparent digestive issues, we still don’t have the internet working correctly. She had to get home to see her kids, after all.

I’m Dating Myself: A Study in Going Solo

Tonight, I decided to throw caution (and social norms) to the wind and take myself on a date. If it had been an evening planned by someone trying to romance me, I would have politely declined any further communication and possibly looked into a personal protection order, but since it was my first try and there was nobody there to judge me, I think it went pretty well.

The idea was to ease into the situation by going to the restaurant where my sister serves so I could hide my aloneness under the guise of a simple sisterly visit. After a quick stalk of the parking lot I realized her car wasn’t there and panicked for a hot second before begrudgingly deciding to hop up to the Applebee’s bar instead. Lone people don’t get to sit at tables. We have to sit at the bar with the other loners and struggle with the space between our chest and our plates like it isn’t awkward to support your entire body weight on the lip of the bar in order to put food in your mouth. I began by ordering a top shelf Long Island Iced Tea, because I’m worth it. And house-liquor gives me a poor people headache. After drinking half of it and making a Sophie’s choice between spinach dip and riblets, I decided to be bold and go for the meat. I wasn’t trying to impress anyone, so eating with my hands and risking a sauce-beard was definitely on the table. I tore through those mini-ribs with both hands and unabashedly licked rogue sauce off of my fingers one by one, making eye contact with some of the other early evening loners across the bar. It got weird. But I liked it. I didn’t care if those people thought I was gross because they were getting drunk by themselves before 6pm and they were on a first name basis with the trashy Applebee’s bartender. After I had stripped the tiny shards of bone of any remnant of meat I threw a twenty on the bar like I owned the place and sauntered out to my next destination. A solo movie.

Sauce-hair, don't care!

Sauce-hair, don’t care!

Since I had a gift card to blow, I didn’t even flash my extremely expired college ID to the ticket purveyor to save a few bucks on admission. I went big and paid the whole $10 without even flinching. Baller. I said the words that are so hard to say, “one for ‘We’re the Millers’” and confidently handed over the plastic. The teenager behind the counter looked at me for a moment and said, “Ok. Ticket for one” with smugness and youthful bitchiness in her eyes while I smiled and thought of nothing but the popcorn I was about to inhale. When you’ve got gift card to spend and nobody who might try to stealthily hold your hand (or upper thigh) later, you go balls deep in a bucket of popcorn. I also got a liter-a-cola and some Reese’s Pieces to round out the experience. The combination of those things is heavenly yet embarrassing because the best way to eat them is to put them all in your mouth at once. Popcorn, candy, soda and shame living together as one. Divine.

millers

I sat down without having to do the “you go first” dance at the foot of the stairs and promptly spilled my popcorn all over the floor. I thought briefly about pretending it didn’t happen and just calling it a loss, but I was there to enjoy myself, dammit. I marched out of there with my half-empty bag and told the first youth I saw that I had spilled my delicious treat and asked if he could top me off. He obliged and then asked if I was ok, wondering if I had perhaps fallen and spilled my popcorn. I told him I was fine, I didn’t fall, I just basically threw it on the floor. On my way back to the theater I passed a small, unaccompanied child who asked me what movie I was seeing. He was visibly disappointed after I told him and let me know that I had made a terrible decision. Shows what he knows. I enjoyed the rest of the movie in peace and laughed raucously (sometimes all alone) at some pretty clever jokes, patted myself on the back for getting the jokes and settled into the satisfaction of not having to explain them to someone who was sliding their hand at a snail’s pace toward my body. When the movie was over, I got up, walked out and went to my car without having to linger for someone to use the bathroom, find their keys or marvel at movie posters. I just left. It was great.

All in all, my me-date was a success. Was I a mess? Oh yeah. But who cares? I still like me. And I think there will be a second date. As long as I put out.

Introducing Ariel and Jasmine

Last Thursday I embarked on a journey. I moved into a giant apartment with two other girls. I’ve lived alone (for the most part) for the past 5 years and although living with others will help me save dollars, it will be something to get used to. Especially since these girls are 24 and 21 and full of energy. I’ve already said, “when I was your age” three too many times in the past few days. Nothing makes you feel older than “remembering when”. As an added bonus to the two gorgeous, thin women I’m now living with, the girls who moved into the other half of the duplex are also in their early 20s, thin and gorgeous. What’s already happening is something I call “The Goblin Effect”. Even at my best, I’ll look like a scary goblin around any of my roomies or neighbors. It should be a pretty good run. 

I warned the girls I’m living with that I blog what I know, and they were about to become just that. They both agreed that I was free to write about them as long as I don’t use their real names, so I agreed to let them pick their pseudonyms. Aerial and Jasmine are sure to be staples of many blogs to come because they’re certainly characters. Disney characters. I guess that would make me Snow White (after one too many apples). 

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While there are many things the three of us can agree on (New Girl is an amazing show, Mindy Kaling is our spirit animal, Spice Girls Pandora saves lives…etc) there are definitely points of contention. For instance, I’m not fit or energetic. And at times I’m downright surly. Jasmine never stops moving and she even teaches a yoga class in town. Aerial, who asked me to point out that she is not a redhead (anywhere), frequents literally every bar I hate in the area. This doesn’t make them bad people. It just makes them wrong. Kidding, of course. It just means that maybe I’ll try yoga (if I’m drunk) and that Aerial and I will never be at the same bar. Ever. Now that I think about it, avoiding going out together is a great way to combat the “Goblin Effect”. Although, Aerial woke up at the early hour of 9:30 on Sunday morning after a rauceous night out and proudly announced to me that she was heading to “hot yoga”. I fell asleep playing Candy Crush the night before and I still had to lay on the couch for two hours before I was ready to walk into the kitchen for food. She came home, refreshed and beaming and asked if I wanted to have a “Sunday Funday”. Uh…duh. Bloody Mary bars are my everything. But then I had to nap while she continued being productive at work and didn’t come home until the wee hours of this morning. Youths. I don’t know how they do it. 

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Overall, I like the new area better than the hipster-laden cesspool from whence I came. Most of the people who pass our big front porch are friendly, I’ve already met more than five neighbors and only one sketchy dude asked me for money-or-beer-or-cans-or-cigarettes. 

I haven’t seen my cats since I moved them in, but I’m guessing they’re settling in nicely in that smelly crawlspace in the basement. I look forward to dealing with the musty fur when they get comfortable enough to explore and pee on my things.