Saturday, August 15

Baltimore weirdness

The last week of the hotel! (aka renting out the third bedroom to people on craigslist in exchange for money and my family in exchange for dinners) The little sis and her hubby are in town for a bit before flying out to China. Hmmm, what to do... Oh! An email from Facebook. The local bar is having live music, and a "Ratfishing Tournament." The premise? Catch a rat on a string from the local alleys. The heaviest one wins a free beer and the respect of millions. I read about this group in a super long City Paper article about rats (their group is called B.A.R.F. I wish I was making this up) and when I heard they were only blocks away, I had to see it in action. Who needs the typical Fells Point night out when you can sip a Blue Moon while chatting up guys slathering peanut butter on sticky traps tied to fishing poles who will sit at the edge of the alley and hope to reel in a fat one?

So after a nice dinner and the bottle of wine they brought me from Napa Valley, we wandered over and took in the action. There were newbies and people who have been fishing for years. The leader of BARF bragged that he had a conversation with the Mayor that went like:
"You need to stop these tournaments. It's bad publicity for the city."
"Okay, you take care of all the rats, and we'll stop fishin'."

Almost immediately, one was caught. 1 pound 5 oz. Here is evidence:

Justin got close enough to hold it, but as the photographer I kept my distance. Jess also stayed away, but got to try on the official rat hat. Very sexy.

After you see a rat on fishing line, what else is there to see?

Up for tomorrow: Farmers' Market, painting my room, and the premiere of Mad Men. Yippee!

Thursday, August 6

Bad and Good things in Baltimore

So I've had an eventful week. Last Sunday I took a trip up to NJ to get some final furniture out of storage, got home, unloaded, checked my email in my room, then hung out downstairs. From about 6pm-12am I stayed on the ground floor setting up the basement, had a long dinner with the temporary housemates, returned the truck to the airport, then watched Sunday night TV. In this time period someone broke into my upstairs bathroom window, took my computer, charger, and hard-drive off my bed, defecated in my toilet, and left. In this time period there were between 1-5 people in the house. Because of the 22 shootings in Baltimore that night, the police took 3.5 hours to arrive. Fun night. (On top of this, the officer I dealt with was actually quite rude, suggesting that I should have bars on ALL my windows if I have the audacity to live in the city with nice things. She asked many questions hinting that perhaps someone I let into the house had broken in, [ummm, no. my friends flush!] and ran out for another call in a hurry, not saying goodbye or anything reassuring.) I didn't get to sleep until 6am that night, but my coworkers/management were very understanding that I didn't come in until lunch.

Long story short, (because I've told this what seems like a million times) I was finally relaxing into the idea of getting robbed, but that I was alive and fine and learned lessons about security when I was robbed again. Tuesday night they (same guys?) came in through the downstairs window and stole my purse and XBOX system whilst we were sleeping. My purse was recovered in a nearby alley (and they missed the fact that my wallet was sitting pretty on the coffee table!) but the 360 is a lost cause. Boo hoo, it sucks, but its only stuff. Security has been beefed up since then.

Bright side of things: Talked to a bunch of neighbors (in the PPNA and others) and I have a lot more eyes looking out now. Exchanged phone numbers with some. While I never saw the guy, helped the police collect a description from neighbors and when they caught a guy breaking into rowhouses down the street, the police believe he is the same thief. No problems since.

Happier things: Finally hung some art and curtains in the living room. Had a little get-together for Justine's birthday where lovely people brought Tapas and helped clean up afterwards. (The house is perfect for parties, and even has room for a dance floor!) Pictures to come of the main floor, but I still have big dreams for my room and the basement that have not come to fruition.

Headed to WTMD's free Concert in the Mt. Vernon park with friends and future housemate, then over to the Movie on Federal Hill. Let's hope for sunshine! Or at least not rain, as I'm not too keen on sunshine either.

As promised from the last post, here's a pic of my Arizona Iced Tea-themed bathroom. I'm very happy with it, considering I did it completely free-hand and haven't had an art class since middle school. I think the flowers should be a bit bigger, so I might have another painting session and make them bloom a bit more.

There's a tree growing out of my toilet! Yes, I'm crazy enough that this makes me smile more than I should.