Yet I'm starting to think that our new apartment in Maryland has come replete with not only high amenity fees, but highly bad luck. I'm talking really bad, considering-going-out-to-the-backwoods-of-this-Okie-state-and-doing-some-crazy-voodoo-to-cleanse-the-place bad.
Consider the following:
Exhibit A: The move from hell.
Need I say more?
Exhibit B: The cookie cutter incident.
In the real world, finding a heart-shaped cookie cutter a day before Valentine's Day would be as easy as cherry pie. In my current, cursed world finding said cookie cutter became a full-fledged medieval quest of sorts, teeming with
After the nearest Target was cookie-cutter-less, J and I found a neighboring mall 5 miles away on our Garmin. Thinking there had to be a Crate and Barrel or Williams-Sonoma or some sort of kitchen appliance store at said mall we drove the five miles. Three hours later of traffic that would put LA's to shame, we finally arrived at the mall ... and there were no kitchen stores. Silly us for assuming there would be, I suppose. They're only as ubiquitous as a Twilight fan in a Hot Topic slash Wet Seal slash Claires slash Chico's.
We scoured the mall, going into each anchor department store. Nothing. J was a trooper through it all. When even I was ready to throw in the towel (it was my idea, after all) he pursued through the course. Come hell or high water his wife would have heart-shaped pancakes for Valentine's Day or else. After feeling like Frodo and Sam Gamjee on a mission to cross Middle Earth for one annoying little errand we found a second Target nearby that had exactly ONE heart-shaped cookie cutter misplaced in the tupperware aisle. After searching for the better part of a day we snatched it up with delirious eyes and hissed about how it was our preciousssss.
Exhibit C: The Valentine's cake incident
As day turned to night on Valentine's Day J ducked out to Safeway to
Unfortunately I did not witness this hilarity go down, but after J got back he was walking across the parking lot when he slipped on black ice ... and everything in his hands went flying (everything including a case of about 6 bottles of wine). He landed hard on his back as bottles of wine went rolling down the parking lot, the bouquet of roses flew off to the side and the chocolate cake went through a quick spin cycle inside its plastic case. Thankfully all the wine bottles remained unscathed and, after they were finished laughing at him, various neighbors chased the bottles down the hill to give back to J.
"Here. There was supposed to be a white chocolate heart on top. I just can't catch a break," he said, as I opened the front door and he handed me what looked like cocoa-colored diarrhea in a plastic cake container.
I suppose the silver lining was that though the cake was indiscernible from a bad bowel movement it was still delectable.
Exhibit D: The baguette incident.
I had cut half a baguette for our fondue dinner that night. Halfway through our meal I took out the other half to slice, put what I didn't use back in the bag ... and it fell straight through the otherwise intact bag onto the floor. The entire half of the freaking baguette. For some inexplicable reason the bottom of the plastic bag just fell open. J and I looked at each other -- thinking of course -- as the baked good bounced off our kitchen floor.
Exhibit E: The hypochondriac slash health-code violation incident.
Since we moved into our new apartment last week the back of my throat has been feeling weird. Not like the I'm-about-to-get-a-cold-weird, but like the I-think-I'm-inhaling-asbestos-slash-black-mold-weird. Not good, kemosabes. Not. Good.
Exhibit F: The "I'm going to make you pay $15 for a bottle of Turning Leaf wine" incident.
Trader Joe's does not sell wine in this state. Apparently there is nothing "merry" about Maryland.
We gawked at the TJ's cashier when he told us that only a limited number of grocery stores get alcohol permits in "these parts" -- and Trader Joe's is not one of them. Neither is Safeway. We checked the
There's really no other solution than to cross state lines bootlegging moonshine in our Hyundai, and so we did. My life is now some weird hybrid of Smokey and the Bandit meets Sideways, where we cart not Coors, but two-buck Chuck Merlot from Virginia up into Maryland from a Trader Joe's near the beltway.
Exhibit G: The "let's trash our planet" incident.
My apartment building has no recycling. And it's not like this is some privately owned five-unit bungalow complex. This is a 20-story “luxury” high-rise, with thousands of tenants who apparently toss thousands of plastic bottles and cans into the one trash dumpster near the back. Just thinking about this makes me feel as speechless and flustered as Tim Gunn on Project Runway when that rockabilly chick Kinley sassed him on national television and all he could do was stand there glaring at the ceiling as he muttered some incoherent gibberish and kept readjusting his crossed arms.
I'm not a tree-hugger; I'm not a big fan of tofurkey; and the only thing granola about me is what I buy in cookies at Mrs. Fields in the mall (though I do admit to having a love affair with a certain pair of leather Birkenstocks, but it was 1995, people. Back then even scrunchies were acceptable.) For what it's worth though, not recycling is not an option for me. I mean, seriously, what decade is this? The '70s, pre that PSA with the Indian guy by the freeway and his single tear elicited from people throwing trash out their car windows? No, it's 2010, and this is Washington DC, not Guangdong.
To a Californian this no-recycling bit is about as blasphemous as saying there are no fire exits located in the entire building. Just the idea of casually tossing my diet coke can in the trash makes me cower a bit in fear that either God will smite me or I'll attract bad karma and end up disfigured in some horrible car crash. Well, I refuse to let that happen if I can help it; I like my facial features where they are thankyouverymuch.
So I've been painstakingly taking the extra steps to save all my recyclables in my tiny shoebox of a studio kitchen to later transport to some yet-encountered (and possibly non-existent) recycling center nearby. I'm all about helping the planet, but the thought of bad karma alone is enough to make me do crazy things.