Tag Archives: townie

If, when, why, what?

My ass has been kiting checks again, if you know what I mean. And I hope you don’t. I have a series of impossible choose-your-own-adventure dealings with which to deal. Please pull up a chair.

The largest problem is probably our ridiculous living situation. Let me tell you it: we live in a beard of bees. No, we live in a loft in a charming old mill with a recycling program and a contentious owner message board, steps from a body of water that did not even flood this year, a lovely park, and old world charm-y cobblestone streets! There are now restaurants where you can get shiso on everything, if that is a kind of thing you like.

In short, my lovely home is a fantastic place for anyone who does not own a toddler. It is RATHER SMALL for raising a team of helper monkeys as well, so be warned. But people are all concerned with “mortgages” and “credit” and “interest rates” and do not seem keen on buying anything these days. That’s too bad. I would like to sell you my bee beard. The bathroom was recently painted by a man who could pass for Perez Hilton. There are numerous other selling points, including the fact that we would get out anytime you wanted, even in the middle of the night, and we would leave any items of furniture you fancied. I might do your grocery shopping and other unpleasant errands for a year. Do you need your taxes done? I got a guy. We recently discovered the image of the Blessed Virgin in the ceiling over our bed, if that helps.

We have hit upon a plan to kidnap Ricky Gervais, namesake of a local car dealership and famous actor/director, before he leaves this lovely town when his movie finishes shooting. He taunts me with posts about using a private jet and house hunting in New York. He clearly has no idea he needs a Lowell pied-à-terre. We will convince him of the beauty of this area by taking him to the Blue Moon, a windowless cinderblock strip club out on 3A, and then to Club Thirtysomething across the way for a nightcap. There you will be able to find a woman with a tattoo reading “The only things getting between my legs are a hard dick or a Harley.” I assure you, she is out there. Then we’ll take a tour of where they print The Lowell Sun. We could start with the proofreading department, but the donkey died several years ago. Very sad.

From there, we’ll attend a Lowell Spinners game, participating triumphantly in dizzy bat, and after this, some skanky townie friend of a relation is probably having a “Jack and Jill” shower at a VFW.

Perhaps some of you more worldly types are concerned and wondering why I am not pushing the martinis and the shiso a bit harder, but honestly, you can get that anywhere. I moved here for the local color, or colour, if you must. I moved here to live next to a minor league ballpark and a methadone clinic. It speaks to me. You just can’t make this crap up, except when you exaggerate a little. You people who can have nice things don’t know what you’re missing.

The rain in Spain

Fellow humans, I am living proof that all it takes is one rainy day to undo a month’s work of feeling pretty spiffy! I should just live in a gro-light.

Instead, I live in a place where someone parks lengthwise across three parking spots, one of them being mine! I live in a place with a husband who snores and refuses to get his sleep apnea mask properly fitted to render it comfortable enough to wear and thus stop the snoring. I live in a place with a small child who pitches an unholy fit about sleeping in her special big girl bed, preferring to climb on top of me at 2 AM and 4 AM. I heard tell that at 4 AM, I actually snarled “You and your waking up and you and your snoring! I hate you all!” before jamming a pillow over my head and crying myself back to sleep. Or I don’t know what I really did, because I don’t remember even saying this. Someone claims I said this. Maybe someone is lying. Maybe someone is delusional due to oxygen deprivation from extreme sleep apnea.

The small child had a fit at the library this morning. Last time she assaulted the sign language bear, and this time she wept 10,000 tears when transparent scarf time ended. I am enjoying a fine cocktail of “Am I horrid parent, or is there something legitimately wrong with her?” This cocktail is a multivitamin and a glass of water and empty promises that someone is going to bring me back lunch soon.

While at the library, I overheard one lump of a woman say “Oh, I never know what to order at Starbucks. Everything on the menu is different.” Starbucks should take a memo and introduce a menu with only one thing on it. Or 30 things with the exact same name and constitution. The other lump who was the target of this declaration replied “Lattes! I love lattes! Get a latte!” And then I wept 10,000 tears, and I fell on the ground and kicked my legs in the air until a janitor came and removed me. That exchange, plus the fact that the LOL, MA newspaper, the Lowell Sun (motto: “We never spellcheck, and we call hot dog restaurants gourmet”), reports that a new wine and cheese shop called “Cest wine, Say Cheese” [sic] is opening, causes me to fling myself on the bed like a be-kneesocked school girl and scream “Get me out of this god-forsaken town!” Can’t you see that I am destined for bigger things? I’m packing my bag and heading to the bus station right now, like Axl Rose in the “Welcome to the Jungle” video. You’ll never take me alive, LOL, MA.


A ybab has learned to say “I don’t like it!” this week. Now everything is “I don’t like it!” Mr. H speculated that she’s just saying it because she can, but I believe that she has been seething for months and has a backlog to work through now that she can express the sentiment properly.

We can’t go do our normal crazy crap this week because there is a movie shooting in LOL, MA. There are trailers and giant heaps of equipment and security guards blocking the way to our STUFF. We have to do our STUFF. This is not fair. If we even attempt to do our stuff, we look like the rest of the slack jawed yokels lining the streets hoping to see people half of them never heard of before. I do not wish to bother anyone, but I do wish to get a snack once in a while. Snacks make the world go ’round. And obese, for that matter.

Yesterday I asked a few different yokels in the space of a block what was going on at the place being filmed. I knew exactly what was going on, but I stayed for the Rashomon-like variations. Apparently there are about 72 different people starring in this movie, for starters. Then I asked if the yokels thought there would be any dogs in this movie. Oh, the opinions! This will be less amusing after a few more days of this.

Busting out all over

It was the first really nice day of Spring yesterday, and ybab and I ventured out for a cup of batshit crazy. We passed by a local bank right after it got robbed. I wouldn’t have stopped there anyway because their ATM charges $2. Can you imagine! I go to the one two blocks away. We were just in time for every cop in town converging on the scene and throwing the guy on the ground, as depicted by Norman Rockwell. Ybab tried tripping him first, but he was just too fast.

We watched the prodding for a minute, and then we strolled to the coffee shop, where we ran into one of the cops who helped with the slamming on the ground. His throat was hoarse from running, so he changed up his regular drink and got an iced mocha. Again, can you imagine! He regaled everyone with cop stories, but we had to leave because someone had opinions.

Opinions are a condition shared by the residents of the neighborhood we walked through to get to the playground. They are a giving lot: rolling down their car windows so you can hear their music, fancy free with favorable input on one’s physiognomy. I still test well with certain demographics, it seems. Ybab still tests well with drunks, one of whom chucked her under the chin at a stoplight. She bit him, no doubt feeling like she had something to prove after letting a marginally armed robber get away.

At the playground, we made the acquaintance of a woman with two jailhouse tear drop tattoos under her eye. And cell phone dad was there, blissfully unaware that I pulled his toddler out of the street several times while he was busy chirping people. Father who throws a ball at his own son’s head on purpose was there too. Father had either poor or exceptional aim and also managed to hit Vomits truly in the temple, knocking my sunglasses askew! At this point, I called Officer Mocha, and he settled the whole thing on the ground. You go to the playground with the army you have.

The moral of this story is that we live in a very good town. You should move here too. I have a condo to sell you.

Mr. H and the case of the haunted poor life choice

I pawned jewelry for the first time today, and that was very exciting. I got to fill out a form for the police department and everything. I feel slightly bad that a nice man named Mahmoud is now the proud owner of our CURSE, but oh well! Then I had extraordinary I’m soaking in it parking, and later I came home and found a check in the mailbox. Parking spots and checks are the first delicate spring robins of changing luck. Also, I met two sets of twins at the playground, and I only have ONE CHILD. Luck is as plain as the nose on my face.

Mr. H had an old engagement ring kicking around from when he almost married a nice substitute teacher who would have probably born him triplets. He could have twelve-year-old triplets had he played his cards right! We found this ring stashed in a box when we recently rearranged the house, and I tried it on and felt pure evil wash over me. I believe he purchased it at an ancient tomb in the mall, and no good can come of this. I am going to be so pissed if a ybab starts sleeping and our house immediately sells now that this is out of my space! We had the power all along. Now I have to sell a vintage camera once owned by a Nazi, and we might get to go on vacation. And then I should probably do something about the possessed painting too. Dammit.

Unprofessional painting

If me of now went back in time to warn me of five years ago that future/current me would be covered in flecking blue paint (Martha Stewart Surf 286) and honey-mustard sauce, me would not believe me! But it is all true. Me has no idea how me’s life turned out this way.

A few days ago, I had a few glasses of wine (with dinner, not at 10AM, although heaven knows…) and decided to start painting the bathroom a different shade of blue. I have good ideas all the time! I can’t even tell you how frequently. I have a whole folder on my desktop called “GOOD IDEAS!!!!!” My bathroom is 50% old blue and 50% new blue now, and I may work on it one hour per night for the rest of my life. Because either I get some paint in my hair, or someone wakes up and starts screaming, or a cat wants to come in because the door is closed, or maybe the fumes just become too much and I wake up on the floor the next morning even dumber.

After the bathroom is painted, I will have to tear the “shelving system” out of the linen closet. That means I will have to put better shelves in. I can’t just leave things in a heap in the bottom of the closet, much as I wouldn’t mind. It’s hard to find shelves. At IKEA, they expect you to cut them to the length you desire, like, with a saw or the power of your mind or something, so all their shelves are eighteen feet long. No. The Container Store has a sale on shelving, and that’s great, but everything is sold in systems, and I, a professional internet user, can’t figure out how to find JUST SHELVES. Single shelves of the correct length. In desperation, I typed in “http://ijustwanttobuysomefuckingshelves.com/” and crossed my fingers, but no luck there. Where do you get shelves, good people of the internet? I am hoping my own Google ads will tell me.

Local color report:
Lowell High School is back in session. Before we set out on our nightly trek for takeout, the phone rang: a “PRIVATE CALL” according to the display.

“Bee dee booop,” said the caller, voice breaking with hysterical giggling.


“I’m sorry, your penis did not go through!” The caller then died from laughter and somehow managed to slam the phone down in a dying act of valor.

Once downtown, a roving pack of teenagers conspiratorially made the aside “PENIS!” to us as we passed. Then we passed Marty Meehan over by the Masonic Temple. He was going to hassle us about voting when a young voice shrieked “I like penis!” out a screened window from the housing project across the street. We continued on, not stopping to vote in the primary because we had already seen Niki Tsongas having a victory dinner two streets over at the one nice restaurant in town, oblivious to the penis crisis in the streets. If she isn’t in touch with the penis issue, she does not need my support.

“If we were actually insane,” I remarked to Mr. H, “we’d assume people were only saying penis to us!” One never knows.

How I got covered in honey-mustard is another boring story for another time.

Hello, goodbye

Will I ever finish the September Vogue? I have sprained my page turning hand. I couldn’t finish it during an entire double process color appointment. Will the feed from this blog stop BREAKING and dumping crap everywhere? Sry Kthx. I would upgrade everything, to Word Press and something reasonable like Feed Burner, but I got as far as making a Feed Burner account, and then it tells me to do an installation step that is NOT THERE in the Blogger console. Hmm. I guess I should migrate to WP first. But this is something like work, and I have enough damn work. And I don’t care anymore, or rather I have not cared for many anymores. [N.B.: In 37 more months, this post will migrate to WordPress or south for the winter.]

This past weekend, I ate an excellent sandwich. I am about to launch a new site about what to eat in Lowell. It will be called What To Eat in Lowell. This is funny to me because I have Asperger’s. OMG so I ate a sandwich. It was so good! It was so good the cops came. Well, a cop came to the establishment where I had the sandwich, and he got his own sandwich. Or maybe it was a bagel. I can’t keep up with law enforcement and their ample square bottoms. But the real deal is that before the sandwich, we saw a red tailed hawk hold a pigeon down on a street corner and step on its neck until it was dead. Or I guess it died when the hawk ripped its head half off. Then the hawk carried the pigeon down the main street and perched on a traffic light. So that’s one thing to eat in Lowell right there.

What does one do when confronted with the majesty of nature like that? Camera phone! That’s behind the paywall only. Ybab has learned to flap her arms and say “Flap flap RAWRRRR.” Of course that’s what the bird says. Birds here in Rand McNally are giant metal robots that decapitate smaller birds.

They’re American planes; made in America

There are numerous perks to living next to a minor league baseball park. I can hug the Canalligator any time I want. Sometimes I’ll be relaxing in the afternoon haze when, lo, the melodious Windows start up chime thunders as the sound system boots. Every game night, I can open my windows at 7:22 PM and hear “Sweet Caroline” if I am so inclined. I like to go out and take a deep breath, savoring the scent of pure sugar and roasting sausage. One day, the sound person played an entire David Bowie album while testing and setting up the system. Sometimes he plays Queen. Life should come with surround sound, even if it sometimes plays the “Hamster Dance.” Some people would not want to live next to a baseball park, but crazy crap is kind of my thing.

I also enjoy have people trying to park in our parking lot towed. Simple pleasures, all around. As American as apple pie. I am still not totally sure if I should stand up during the “Star Spangled Banner.”

Last night ybab and Mr. H and I were out walking in the park. We noticed some fighter planes making lazy loops in the general vicinity of our house, and that always makes one nervous. We figured it must be a routine patrol, but we entertained ourselves for a while thinking that maybe a plane was off the radar and about to get shot down in our front yard. Wouldn’t surprise us, given our real estate track record. Underwater or smoking hole? Which holds resale value best?

We were in the courtyard right across the street from the ballpark kind of not paying attention while a ybab ate rocks when we heard something something about Air Force appreciation over the ballpark loudspeaker, and then we realized “OH FUCK.” There was nowhere to quickly run for cover, and next thing we knew, we were looking up at a guy in a cockpit. I should have covered ybab’s ears; sorry kid. However, when one is a few hundred feet directly below two jets, one’s instinct is to drop to the ground and flatten out one’s skull, like a cat trying to squeeze under a bathroom door. To hell with the children. They regrow ear drums anyway, right?

It took ten minutes to calm her down as she pointed up and jabbered “BIRD? BIRD?” No sweetie, that was ten seconds of what it’s like to live in Iraq! Consider yourself a world traveller now. Remind me to add “runway” as a feature to our sales listing.

Poo corner

Yesterday, we foolishly tired of our air conditioned home and ventured out for a walk. You know, after a long drive. We had heard that a certain New England town, which I’ll call Concord since that’s what everyone else calls it, was quaint. But apparently there is a town ordinance there that requires everyone to bike in the damn road while swaddled tightly in Spandex. Lance Armstrong may have a vested interest in protecting his remaining testicle, but you’d think all those virile square-bottomed investment bankers could play a little fast and loose.

When we were nearly run off the road by yet another SUV (in this case, an H2) passing cyclists who insist on riding side by side (because CARS DO THAT ALL THE TIME WHEN THEY ARE FRIENDS, it’s true), we decided we’d had enough. Concord is now on the list of places to which I’m never going back, including Rockville and home again. Instead, we went to a farm, where a sheep did something offensive to my hand.

926: Don’t you wish you had brand recognition like me?

Yesterday I was working at a coffee shop like an asshole does, and I messaged Mr. H to say “Guess what, I’m at a coffee shop without a ybab.” And he freaked out, assuming I had gone into some sort of fugue state and left her chained to the fridge at home while I decided to have a mocha. What a vote of confidence in my maternal skills! Then a friend came in with her daughter and looked similarly alarmed. Sheesh. Don’t you let your kids play in abandoned appliances while you’re at the loser fake office? No no no. Other wife or the chupacabra had her. I think. I don’t know. I pay someone, and I pretend I don’t count the pain pills in the medicine cabinet.

I am not as much of an asshole as the women sitting next to me, though. One of them had a daughter named Linda Pam. I clutched at the air upon eavesdropping this, thinking I had just accidentally fallen a dozen states into Alabama. Linda Pam is the proud recipient of a bag of her mother’s used sandals. Linda Pam’s mother is not really a size 6; I found out when she went to the counter to get something. The others in her coven see right through her assertions.

There is no real point to this post, but I wanted to work in how two birds collided in mid-air and died before they hit the ground my window. It was a thing to see. Ybab wanted to pet the birds. No no no no! No dead birds! What does the live bird say? Cheep? Who are you calling cheap? What does the Tiger say? Meow. Sure it does, Linda Pam. Your face is your fortune.