Shenanigans with Val: Top Hats, Ghost Stories and Bertha’s Mussels (Part 2)

And here we continue our tale of Val‘s visit to my fair city and the fun times that were had . . . . . . (if you missed Part 1, go back and start there).

When we left our heroines, they were heading off to a haunted pub crawl, planned by tour guide extraordinaire, Misty Laws (moi), who just so happens to have the sexiest sandaled feet in town.  (But enough about my brilliance and beauty.  No really, stop . . . you’re embarrassing me!).

We arrived at our destination, the sidewalk in front of a bar in the area, that interestingly enough, was not actually on the tour.  But, it’s a very well-known bar in the city, so it makes sense that it would be a good place to congregate for those about to depart for the tour.  Once we checked in and received our ghost stickers (to indicate that we were on the tour), we hung out for a few minutes with some others, waiting for it to start.  As we were waiting, we noticed an interesting gentleman.  He had a top hat, a long black coat, a long braided ponytail, a cane and some sort of golden binocular spectacle things perched atop his head.  As you can see, Val was a bit unsure about this character at first . . .


But he turned out to be our tour guide!  So, we started to warm up to him.  Especially since, upon arrival at our first destination, he relayed to us the story of how on a previous tour, one of the patrons screamed out “BITCHES!!” in answer to one of his questions.  Ok, he’ll do.


Did I mention it was pretty damn cold that night?  Yeah, so after a brief introduction, we moved into our first stop, Eat Bertha’s Mussels.  We all grabbed a beverage, a hot buttered rum for myself, and settled into the warmth of the bar to listen to some ghost stories.  Something about a light going on in the bathroom mysteriously, blah, blah, blah.  We might not have been paying that much attention.  Mainly, Val and I got silly and took pictures.


Majestic braided ponytail beneath festive twinkle lights.


Val & Bertha.

Once we finished our beverages, and after some socializing with our fellow ghost tour patrons, we moved out of the warmth of Bertha’s (spoiler alert, we’ll be back), and back out into the street to hear more tales of spooks and ghouls.

Our next stop was The Horse You Came In On Saloon, a very historic and famous destination pub in the area.  Val showed the appropriate level of respect and awe at this fact . . .


Totally impressed.

And then shit got real when our tour guide extraordinaire pulled out a device that was supposed to track spirits and supernatural presence and passed it around for us to find anything interesting out on the street.  So, of course, we all started using it on each other.  I’m sure that none of you will be surprised that Val made the thing beep and blink like crazy.  Yeah.


Val’s sexy leg and leather skirt. Mrow!!

Once we entered the bar, and naturally procured another beverage, I realized that we were in the presence of a celebrity.  That’s right, one of our fellow tour guid-ees was a famous comedian from the well-loved 90s sketch comedy show, The State.  None other than Joe Lo Truglio!!  (Hey, famous people like ghost stories, too!!).  At first approach, Joe wouldn’t fess up that it was actually him, unbelievably claiming that he had never heard of The State!  But, when I produced photographic evidence of his identity, he could hardly deny it!

You tell me.

You tell me.

And then Val licked him . . . just to be sure.


Once Val was finished molesting our new friend Joe, sadly, it was time to move along from The Horse, on to our next destination . . . of which I have forgotten the name.  Let’s be honest, things were starting to get a little fuzzy at this point.  But what I do know is this . . . standing outside of this next bar, listening to tales of ghosts and spirits . . . it began to snow!  It was magical.


Once we warmed ourselves inside this next bar, drinks firmly in hand, we started to get cozier with some of the other patrons . . . and the tour guide.  Despite Val’s initial trepidations as to the acceptability of our guide, she had become enamored with him throughout the tour, and he seemed quite taken with her as well.


But, Val being Val, she was not content to just cuddle with her newfound friend.  Oh no, she had to take it to the next level.  She needed to . . . bite his beard.


Not sure our finely attired friend was quite ready for Val’s level of insanity awesomeness at this point.  But he was a good sport and went with it.  Sometimes, that’s really all you can do when Val wants to lick/bite/fondle you in some way.  Just go with it . . . shhhhhhh.

Besides, once we left the establishment and moved on to our next location, it was evident that Mr. Bitten Beard could handle himself . . .


It’s practically like they were soul mates. 

Once we arrived at our final pub destination, and once again got some beverages to warm our insides, we bought a drink for our new friend to thank him for a job well done and an entertaining evening.  He graciously accepted and we socialized with him, along with some other new-found friends, for a bit before he had to be off.  But not before this happened:


Told you they were soulmates.  True love, right there.

Oh, and as for those new-found friends?  Yeah, they were incredibly rad.  A married couple that were out for a fun night, and were not afraid to have a good time and participate in some shenanigans with Val and me.  Need proof?  Here:


Anyone who will allow me to photograph them flashing with ghost stickers on their nimples is ok in my book. 

So, even though the official tour was over, nobody was ready to be done with the night.  There was much fun still to be had!  So, we asked the bartender where a good place around there to get grub was (thinking we should probably get some food in us at this point), and headed on down the street to another pub/restaurant type place called Koopers.  (Yep, remembered the name of that one, somehow).

Once the food was ordered, and another round of drinks naturally, we started to get to know each other better through inappropriate hand gestures and interpretive dance atop of the tables.

No, not really, but it’s a testament to Val and my tales of craziness that you believed me there for a minute.  We just chatted about our families and asshole exes, etc.  Oh, and then this happened . . .


Val’s cleavage . . . you’re welcome!


She likes to bite things almost as much as she likes to lick them. Almost!

I would show you pics of our companions being silly (the ghost stickers ended up on the hubby’s nimples at one point, and there was also much breast grabbing and showing), but I’m trying to be respectful of our new friends’ anonymity, since they do not know about our blogs and hence had no idea that they might be the subject of public ridicule/infamy.  But I’ll just say, that they were wild, wacky and fun.  It was a perfect pairing.

Once we realized how late it was getting (for them), and that we were going to have to bid our new friends adieu so they could drive home to DC and be all responsible adults and such, we had to find our way back to the original meeting point, so that they could then find their car.  Being somewhat familiar with the general vicinity, and after walking the wrong way for a bit, I eventually led us back to where we began.  But not before discovering a dark alleyway that, of course, had to be investigated:


Hey, it’s midnight in the city . . . let’s see what’s down this narrow, unlit passageway!!

And then we found a ship . . . in someone’s backyard:


Which, obviously, was there for the sole purpose of climbing upon and documenting more shenanigans.  Of course.

So, now is the time when Val and I come to a crossroads.  Having said goodbye to the somewhat responsible adults of our foursome, and having a young night stretched out in front of us, we decided to grab another drink in one of the myriad bars surrounding us.  But first . . . being girls who had consumed quite the impressive amount of beverages thus far, it would only stand to reason that the time was upon us to do what only comes naturally . . .  we had to pee.  So, we entered the bar in front of which we initially began our journey, and stood in the very long queue for the bathroom, which we discovered was so massively long because only one working toilet was inside (of 3 available).  People are nasty.

While waiting, some toddler chica decided that we would be the appropriate people to line jump in front of.  Um, excuse me?  “Oh, this is my friend.  She was holding my space.  But you can go into this stall if you want.”  Oh, you mean the disgusting one that is overflowing with nastiness?  Gee, what a lovely offer.  How about we just beat your ass for you instead?  No?  Would you prefer to get in the back of the line then?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Barely avoiding yet another opportunity to harm someone who was desperately asking for it that night, once our bladders were empty, we decided to leave the overly crowded and mostly college aged bar to head to someplace a bit more our speed.  And this is where we come full circle and walk across the street to our first stop . . . Bertha’s.  The place was practically empty, so we slid right on up to the bar and perched ourselves there for the remainder of the evening.  No hipster bullshit college place, this was a real bar.   So, we chatted up the bartender, who was a real man and gave us shots without all the bottle flipping attempts at impressiveness, thus impressing us all the more.  Until he started pouring the whiskey.  Oh god, not the whiskey.  But, being the classy fucking ladies that we are, we did our damn shots of whiskey, then requested the next offered shot not be quite so . . . whiskey-y.  And thus, a beautiful friendship was formed.

The night got a little fuzzy, but apparently, at some point I posed for a portrait?

We closed that joint down after many, many, many more drinks.  Basically, by the end of the night, we were no longer patrons, but employees, and we sat there chatting with both bartenders as they did their final cleanup, and the bouncer, who had the most delightful hair (apparently after a certain amount of shots, I forget I own a camera, because there are no pictures taken after the boat.  I know, I’m ashamed of me as well!), a blue dyed checkerboard pattern shaved into each side of his head and a floppy mohawk happening in the middle.  They were rad dudes.  Eventually, 2 of the 3 went home, but we stayed for a much longer time, exchanging life wisdom with our new favorite bartender (of whiskey shot fame).

Eventually, we realized that the sun was probably about to come up, so I dragged Val’s drunk ass into a cab and we headed back to our hotel room.  I had a baby shower to go to the next day, and if I didn’t love her so much (Hi, Thoughtsy!!), I probably would have bailed, because me and 3 hours sleep (that bitch!)  have never and will never get along very well.  But, the bitch and I were forced to endure each other’s presence on that fateful Sunday morning.  Oy.  Although luckily, neither Val nor I were hungover the next day, and nobody puked!  That is such a huge win, based on the sheer volume of alcohol that we ingested over the course of that Saturday into Sunday morning.

And thus ends another tale of the adventures of Val and Misty.  Somehow, nobody got arrested or killed . . . again!  So, obviously, we are doing something right.  Huzzah!

Shenanigans with Val: Elf, Old Lady Beatdowns & Hipster Bars (Part 1)


Here it is.  The moment you all have been waiting for . . . the recap of Val‘s most recent visit.  Well, at least the first half of it.  It was, as always, the most epic of days, which means we packed a ton of epicness into a small amount of hours.  So, I’m gonna have to split this thing up so as to do the entire story justice.

We begin our story with both of us arriving in Baltimore, where we would spend the next 24 hours, traveling in and around the city.  Somehow, she beat me there, even with her mandatory stop at Waffle House, and the fact that I only live a little less than an hour away.  Normally, I’m waiting for her ass, so this was different.  However, I found her comfortably ensconced in a nice lounge chair in the lobby, and didn’t make her wait too long.  Once we checked into our room and changed into our good, theater-going clothes, we set off to our first planned destination . . . Elf: the Musical.

photo (19)

When Val and I first decided that this would be the day she would once again grace my fair state with her awesomeness, as always, I did my due diligence to see what was going on.  When I found out that Elf would be in Baltimore that weekend, it was decided.  I asked Val how she felt about it, she responded “smiling is my favorite,” and we were off!

When we arrived at the theater, we obtained some beverages, lest we get parched during the long performance, and then found our seats.  They were excellent seats, about 12 rows back and right in the middle.  Perfect view.  When the show started, we were so excited.  The first thing we saw was Santa, and we were like two little girls on Christmas morning again.  “It’s Santa!  I know him.”  We were giddy with excitement.  When Buddy came out, who looked like a six foot tall Martin Short but sounded exactly like Kenneth from 30 Rock, we were already completely enchanted and in love with the show.  It was like the movie, but just different enough to make it fun.  And musical, of course.


Being super excited and stoked to be there, and loving everything about the show, we occasionally made a comment to each other about some of the funny or interesting parts of the show.  But quiet-like, because we have class, dammit.  And we were laughing at all the funny parts, of which there were many.  Well, apparently, our joviality and friendship highly offended the woman to my left, because about 40 minutes into the show, I suddenly found myself face to very ugly mug with the meanest and nastiest person ever.  She thrust her puss right into my personal space and proclaimed:  “If you two don’t cut it out, I’m going to call the manager and report you!”  Commence my shocked look towards Val to see if this was for real happening.  “I’m getting really sick of your shit!”  Holy crap, I think that really DID just happen.  What the hell do we do now?

Yeah.  We were actually and totally struck speechless.  Us.  That NEVER happens!  We just could not even believe that someone would actually be offended that we were enjoying ourselves and laughing at a musical comedy, and would so nastily and rudely tell us to stop having fun.  We weren’t bothering her in any way, but apparently she was a very angry elf.

After we recovered from our initial shock (and wondered to each other if we were allowed to laugh any more), we were pissed.  At intermission, Val was pretty much set on beating her ass at the end of the show.  However, that mean old Grinch was just lucky that she was as fast as she was mean, because she raced away from those seats the second the show was over, and Val was unable to catch her.  Probably best, or we would have spent the rest of the day at the police station.

Once we escaped (barely) having not murdered anyone, we took a quick trip back to the hotel room to change into a bit less fancy duds.  It would be the last we would see of our lovely hotel room for the next 12 hours or so.  However, we were unaware of that at the time, so we did not dally.  We turned right around to head out to dinner.  We had made plans to meet another blogger, who lives locally, for drinks and some food before we went off to our next destination.  (Yes, we were very busy girls that day).

When I set up our meeting place with Bluz, he checked out the locale online and immediately balked at the idea of going to a “hipster bar,” averring that he was decidedly “unhip.”  Reassuring him that I had no idea of the restaurant’s hipster status when I chose it, but that I only chose it because I had reviewed the menu and was intrigued by the offerings, and also that it was within walking distance of our hotel, I convinced him that his non-skinny jeans wearing ass would be just fine.  Plus, I had Val.  He would have met us in Satan’s bathroom if that’s where we were headed.

And actually, he almost got his wish for a different joint, since we arrived there before him and were gonna text him to meet us across the street at a beer garden that looked rad, but that was right before the bartender got his hooks into us and realized we were easy.  No, not like that!  We’re ladies, yo.  But he offered us a free shot, so we had no choice but to stay.  Free booze?  Um, yes please.  I mean, obviously.  We have class.

Oh, and did I mention that we spent most of the time making fun of him?  The bartender, that is, not Bluz.  I mean, what else could we do when he tried to get all fancy by flipping bottles, and then ended up dropping one.  And then there was the attempted selfie (he was supposed to be taking a pic of us), where he just looks like he’s eating his thumb.


Plus, he patently refused to light our shots on fire!  What kind of crappy bartender was he, anyway?  Damn.  I mean, it didn’t stop me from pimping out my good friend Val to him, so that he may actually own her now and have her living in a pit in his basement.  As long as she just keeps putting on the lotion, she should be fine.  Besides, I’m not worried about her.  She’s a tough bitch.  She’ll be wearing his skin by the end of the week.

Once we finished our food and drinks and lovely conversation, we had to say adieu to our friend Bluz, so that we could head on over to our next destination . . . a haunted pub crawl in a historic seaside area known for its lively nightlife.  Oh yeah, it was on.

Alas, my dear readers, this is where I must leave off on this marvelous tale.  I will continue with the second half, and thrilling conclusion, later this week.  And just to give you a taste, there will be . . . beard biting, top hats and canes, and much late night (early morning) drunken shenanigans.  Pretty sure you are not surprised by that last part.  Until then . . . . .

Play Fair

On Labor Day, we took the kids to the Maryland State Fair.  It is fair season again, so this was actually the second fair that we attended this year.  The first was our local county fair, and of no real consequence.  Our third and final of the fair trifecta will be in two weeks.  That is our favorite, so stay tuned for a report on that one.

But, this past holiday we visited the middle child in our fair going family, the state fair.  We started the day early, attempting to beat some of the sweltering and oppressive heat that we had been enjoying for quite some time now.  Sadly, we were not early enough, because the blanket of oven-like temps attacked us within minutes of our entrance into the fairgrounds.  However, we rallied and put the kids on some rides, while we tried desperately to stand in any type of shade available, to avoid spontaneous combustion.  After a few spinning, bouncing, twisting, and flying contraptions entertained my kids, we decided to momentarily escape from the heat.  So we visited the cow palace.

Picture 10778

Tipping prevention technique.

This extremely large building was not air conditioned, but this shelter from the sun dropped the temp a good ten degrees.  What we traded in heat, however, we made up for in aroma, as this was where they housed all things bovine.  We happened upon an area where a cow was being held in a pen, and there were bleachers set up all around.  Curious as to what we would be watching, we grabbed a seat and tried to see what there was to see.

Picture 10789

Ready to pop.

We soon realized that we were on the verge of experiencing the miracle of life . . . live and in high def.  Not sure that our young boys were quite ready to see that (and not sure that we really wanted to experience it, either), we moved along, and instead opted to participate in a different activity involving a cow . . . milking.

Picture 10792 Picture 10796

Once we had our fill of milk cow related activities, we reluctantly went back into the sweltering blast furnace outside of the building.  Yeah, that was fun.  However, as we exited the building, I passed a mecca of wonderment and invention . . . the fried foods booth.

Picture 10785

If you’ve been around a while, you know that it is my goal in life to try a different fried concoction at every fair that I attend.  There have been oreos, twinkies, strawberries, pickles, cheesecake, kool aid and reese’s.  All of it battered and deep fried.  Most topped with powdered sugar.  (Not the pickles, because that would be very very wrong).  So, I perused the numerous offerings of this fried food heaven to see what this year’s lucky item would be.  And although there were many many MANY items to choose from, none of them really screamed out me, me, me, pick me!!  I thought about the fried Pop Tart (in honor of my friend Thoughtsy), but they had a sample of it sitting in the window and it was basically just an entire Pop Tart covered in batter.  It did not look appealing.  I wasn’t up for an entire candy bar (did I mention it was scorching hot?  Yeah, so that meant that I pretty much had no appetite), and the fried grilled cheese or peanut butter & jelly looked pretty gross.  I might have been up for whatever a buckeye was (it helpfully said it was chocolate covered peanut butter), but apparently they were very popular because they were all sold out.  What to do, what to do . . . it was a conundrum.

So, what did I do?  Actually, I walked away.  I know!  I’m not sure what was wrong with me either.  I’m gonna blame it on my brain being boiled by the 128* sun.  Obviously, what I needed was a lemonade to cool me down!  So, I went over to a nearby stand selling freshly made, ice cold lemonade, and as I was standing in line . . . the heavens opened, the angels sang, and I saw this sign:

Picture 10801

This!  This is what I had been waiting for.  It was the perfect treat, as Berger’s cookies are unbelievably delicious, and also the perfect amount, because I only needed to eat one to experience it, and could share the rest.  That way, I didn’t need to feel like a total glutton by devouring the entire thing all by myself!  (Although, I will admit that I totally could have hoovered all three of those bad boys . . . they were smack your momma on the ass GOOD).

Picture 10802Picture 10804

And speaking of Baltimore’s Own, the boy who served us these treats noticed my son’s Ravens hat, and mentioned dejectedly that the next stop for their little rolling cart of fried deliciousness was in Pittsburgh for the Steelers.  I told him that he better not take our Berger’s cookies up there to our rivals!  He said he thinks that they are only offering them locally, so at least there’s that.  He also said that he’s gonna represent Maryland pride by wearing all of his Ravens gear while he’s up there.  Good boy.  Go Ravens!

Next up is the last fair of the season, where I am sure to find something new and creative to wrap up this fried fair food festivus maximus.  Let’s just hope it’s not surface of the sun hot when we go there.  To be continued . . .

Our Milkshake Brings All the Freaks to the Yard

I have lived and worked in and around Baltimore my entire life.  Except for a brief stint in the farmlands of Pennsylvania for college, where I missed city life horribly, I have never lived anywhere else.  It is my home.  And I love it.

And while my undying love for my home city is true, that has never seemed to be the case for outsiders looking in.  The city has always had the reputation of being a lesser city somehow.  It’s neighbor to the south, Washington DC is more of a real city, while B-more has long suffered an also ran status.  Paling in size and popularity to other Northeastern cities . . . New York, Boston, Philadelphia . . . Baltimore has always quietly existed, content in its own skin.  Not looking for fame or recognition from any of its Northern brethren.

But lately, it seems, our little town has experienced a surge in popularity.  Three years ago, we became the home to the Baltimore Grand Prix.  A car race that is televised and occurs on Labor Day weekend, closing half the streets of downtown for famous racecar drivers to zoom around.  Although, definitely not popular with many of the workers attempting to enter and then leave the city, since a large part of the area of ingress and egress is completely closed off many days before the race.  However, it is a boon for Baltimore, as it brings in much money from tourism, so commuters be damned.

Also, it was reported recently that this summer there has been a spike in visits and funds spent in this city, as the hospitality industry in my fair town is apparently seeing a spike as well.

This could have something to do with the multiple very popular conventions that were scheduled this summer in the downtown convention center.  I have previously mentioned the Brony convention, which was a first for the city this year, and brought a ton of Bronies to the downtown area, surely boosting sales to many local hotels and restaurants.

And of course we have Otakon.  That convention has shown up in our city for many years, and brings with it oh so many fans of all things Asian culture and video games, who have the tendency to dress in costumes ranging from Pokemon & Sonic to the most garishly crazy video game demons imaginable, and everything in between.  It is one of the wackiest and most anticipated weekends of the year (at least for those who appreciate ridiculousness personified walking out in public).


Just a little sampling of all the craziness I was able to capture on my way into and out of the city.

So, after the Bronies and the Otakons, you would think I’d be prepared for anything, right?  Well, I thought all the conventions were gone and there would be no more freaks to be seen until next summer.  Apparently, I was wrong.

Leaving work this past Tuesday, I stopped at a light near the convention center.  What I saw on the corner was what looked very much like a stripper.  And before you think I’m calling some poor innocent girl who is just dressed a bit skimpily a stripper, let me paint you a picture:  Pink cowboy hat, long flowing blond hair, long fingerless gloves, pink bra, pink underwear with a short black mesh skirt over top, cowboy boots.  Right?  Here, you judge for yourself:

Picture 10571

Not your NORMAL Tuesday afternoon attire, no?

Now, this is not the type of corner you would usually see something like this.  This is downtown.  Next to the business district.  On a Tuesday.  With no conventions in town.  It was a little unexpected.  So, when the light changed, and I started driving closer, on my way to passing by, I tried to get a closer look, while also taking another picture.  But driving and picture taking are not really the most companionable tasks, so unfortunately, I only got a leg.

Picture 10572

Yeah, I know. It’s bad.

But if you look closely at that picture, you might notice something.  Those are neither panties nor bikini bottoms.  They are in fact . . . jockeys.  That’s right, this sexy stripper was actually a transvestite stripper.  Which became blatantly obvious as I got closer and he turned around, giving me a full view of his very hairy chest and 2 day stubbly facial growth.  Yikes!  Not what I was expecting.  Sorry that I couldn’t get a better picture, because, well, you kind of had to see it.  This guy was obviously very lost.  He was on Baltimore street, but a full 5 or 6 blocks west of the area he was probably looking for . . . Baltimore’s red light district, also known as “the block.”

Apparently, there is no end to the things I get to see while working downtown.  I’m not sure I can take much more, though.  I’m starting to feel a little violated, frankly.  At this point, pretty much the only thing I haven’t experienced yet is a Furrie convention.

Then again, there’s always next year.

Bloggers, Bronies and Baseball

Last Friday was a pretty eventful day.  As opposed to my normal eight and a half hours of doldrums on the last day of the work week, usually spent trapped in my office at my hellish job, there was instead a bit of excitement.  The day prior, I had discovered that a blogger friend would be in my area on Friday.  So, of course, because I’m obnoxious, I mandated that she meet up with me when she passed through my town.  I am very demanding that way!

We went back and forth for a while as to how and when it would happen, which consisted of her asking me if I wanted to meet for a cocktail (um, yeah I do!), and me realizing that we weren’t going to be able to meet after work because she already had dinner plans with some family.  Thus, it came down to me “taking a late lunch,” aka walking downtown to meet in the afternoon for a drink.  And yes, I was going to drink during the workday.  God bless America.

I felt it my duty to warn Jess Witkens, that upon her arrival in my fair city, she might encounter some strangeness.  Even more so than the normal craziness of leggings and boobs hanging out everywhere.  No, this was a very special weekend.  The BronyCon was in town.  What are Bronies you ask?  Well, that is a very good question.  Basically, it is grown men who are huge fans of My Little Pony.  No, really.  And not ironically, either.  But in a pay lots of money for airfare and hotel in a city that will host a bunch of pony loving men, convening to do who knows what (um, role play, apparently), for 3 days straight.  Oh, and did I mention that they dress up?  Yeah, hence the warning.

IMG_4841 IMG_4845 IMG_4852 IMG_4869

When I met Jess and her boyfriend, Joe, the first thing I noticed about her, besides the fact that she is super adorable, is that she is tiny.  As in, I could put her in my pocket and carry her around, tiny.  She was cute as a button!  Since it was later in the day, and nobody was too hungry, we all ordered a drink and just some sushi to share.  Living in Wisconsin, they don’t get to experience good sushi with fresh seafood very often, so this was a good choice for this landlocked pair.

We were only able to visit for a short period of time, since I unfortunately had to go back to work, but in that time, we bonded over a mutual love of Halloween, music and travel.  Before we had to say goodbye (sniff!), Jess and I were able to get a picture of the two of us . . . along with one of our furry little friends.


Thanks for letting me hijack some of your time while you were in town, Jess!  Hope you and Joe enjoyed your brief time in my wacky little city.

After work, I met the family at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  This will have been my FOURTH baseball game this year!  That must be some sort of record.  I think I went once last year, and may have gone more times this year than the previous ten years combined.  Then again, the Orioles sucked a lot in recent years past, so it wasn’t all that much fun hanging out to watch them lose so much.  It’s a bit more fun now.

Before the game, we had dinner at Dempsey’s, which is a restaurant that is inside the Park, but right outside the actual stadium proper.  They have fabulous food.  I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but it’s worth repeating . . . bacon, on a stick:


Not just the fab food, but we got to sit outside with a view of the goings on, out and around the stadium.  Along with it being a lovely night, it wasn’t a bad view at all.


Once we finished our meals, we went into the stadium proper to head up to our seats.  Talk about a nice view.  This is from the outfield wall, which we travelled by on our way to our seats.  We just had to stop for a few moments to enjoy the scene.


It was even better when we got to see Nate McLouth (of personally handing my son a foul ball fame) hit a grand slam home run later in the evening, which had the crowd on its feet and in hysterics.  Did I mention a bit more fun?  Yep.  Thanks, O’s!

Oh, and just because of the What the F*ck of it all . . . a bonus picture I came across on the wonderful world wide web of wackiness in regards to that whole Brony thing above.  Please to enjoy:

Picture 10406

Who Wants to Touch The Butt?

Last week, I extolled the various virtues of the Fred & Friends company, and listed all of their most popular items.  Then, I put one of those items up for grabs in a giveaway, and was treated to various and sundry crappy office stories from y’all, in your attempts to win this lovely item.  (Not that your stories were crappy, they were stories about crappy offices).

Picture 8914

Thank you for that.  It makes me feel just this much better about my own crappy job.  Only a little, though, because after a 3 hour brutal surprise trial on Tuesday afternoon, and then leaving work only to almost immediately run over a nail on the war zone city streets of this ghetto town, which necessitated sitting on the side of the road in rush hour traffic waiting for AAA . . . well, it has not been a stellar week at work.

Picture 9075

BUT . . . enough about my craptastic work environment . . . let’s see who won this prize for having their own crappy work story . . .

As always, I have employed the very distinct skills of my brilliant children to pick this item’s winner.  For this item, 5 was the one to employ his master picking services.


And the winner of The Butt is . . .



Congrats Tabitha!!  Just send me your info at mistyslaws at gmail dot com, and I will send this super rad little toilet man to you so that you can use him however you see fit (we don’t judge here at Misty’s Laws!).  Although, based on your story, I’m not sure you will have anywhere to put him at work.  Might need to lose something on your desk . . . like your computer.


Make ’em Laugh

Last week was tough.  There were deaths, explosions, maiming, manhunts and lockdowns.  The entire country seemed to be in a state of shock and depression, and I was no exception.  So, by the end of the week, I was really glad that I had scored some tickets to go see Kathy Griffin.  We really needed some comedy in the midst of the non-stop horrors being replayed on the 24 hour news stations. 

We left the house with every intention of getting downtown with enough time to grab some sushi at a nearby restaurant.  An accident, closed street and 20 extra minutes of traffic via a detour derailed that plan.  So, we headed straight to the theater, and instead decided to drink.  Seemed like a valid alternative.

Picture 8313

I found it interesting that a bar in a theater that regularly has operatic performances serves Jello Shots.  And no, I didn’t get one, but I was tempted.  I instead had the Caramel Apple Martini.  In a plastic cup.  It was classy.  But also delicious!

When we found our seats, we realized that we had somehow ended up with pretty good ones.  We were about 5th row centerish, which was unexpected.  See, I ordered the tix months ago through Groupon, so I had no idea what I was getting, especially at half price!  But we were hooked up. 

Picture 8314

After a few minutes, a pair of girls sat down beside me.  I happened to overhear them mention something about getting the same deal, and asked them if they also got tickets from Groupon.  They said yes, and we started chatting about the great and unexpected seats.  I talked to them for a bit.  They were very . . . vivacious.  At one point, I turned to the hubs and said, “look at me being social!”  I could tell by the reluctant momentary glance away from on his iPhone, that he was very impressed with my feigned extraversion.  At one point in our conversation, I happened to notice the top of one of the girls’ foot.  There was a face there.  I remarked about how cool it was, thinking she would tell me it was her boyfriend or husband or something.  Nope.

Picture 8316

In case you can’t tell, that’s a picture of James Dean.  On the top of her foot.  That just seems . . . painful.  She had another face on the top of her other foot as well.  Any guesses as to whose face might be there?  You know what . . . I’m not going to tell you.  I’ll let you try to figure it out . . .

Once Kathy came out, we were pretty much ready to get our laugh on.  And she didn’t disappoint.  She is basically one of those people who you either love or hate, I’ve found.  So, I’ve included a video of some of the performance, and if you are so inclined, you can see some of her show below.  (Warning:  NSFW).

Picture 8324

(Click picture for video)

photoAfter the show, we were pretty much starving, since we hadn’t had dinner yet, and it was approaching 11:00 at night.  So, we figured we would revisit the sushi place we had initially had our sights set on.  The only problem was, according to their website, they closed at 11:00.  It was 10:45.  We had to hurry.  When we arrived, they didn’t want to serve us, but we noted that it was still 15 minutes until they closed, that we were starving, and that we would order right away.  They graciously allowed us to come in.  We quickly ordered some rolls, and within a couple of minutes, except for the waitress, we were the only people in the place.  It was a little strange.

Picture 8332

After 11:00, we started noticing something else a little strange.  A very raucous noise that sounded like it was coming from the basement of the place.  We soon discovered why the wait staff was so keen on shutting the doors at 11:00.  Apparently, that was when the karaoke started downstairs.  It was . . . loud.  And not entirely pleasant.   Pretty much exactly how karaoke is supposed to be.  So, as we finished our delicious rolls, we were serenaded by some incredibly poor singers, that apparently did not understand the concept of reading the words of the song they were attempting to sing.  There was a lot of mumbling is what I’m saying.  And then!  Then, a guy started making what can only be described as ear shattering and soul crushing noises.  We deciphered that it was supposed to be Never Gonna Give You Up.  Wow.

But look at me!  Being all selfish.  I mean, why should I be the only one to experience the gloriousness that was this singer’s voice?  No, that would just be wrong.  In fact, when I was listening to this sweet serenade of Rick Astley’s wonderful hit song, I was thinking, “you know who would really enjoy this?  Everyone!”  So, that’s when I hit record.  You’re welcome!

Picture 8716

Not that anyone asked, I’m sure, but immediately after this stirring rendition of the song, the gentleman decided to perform an encore.  That was pretty much our cue to flee the premises.  I don’t think we could take that . . . twice.

Put Me In, Coach


It’s that time of the year again . . . baseball season!!  The family and I were fortunate enough to get opening day tickets for the start of the Baltimore Oriole’s season this year.  The only problem?  We would be on a plane headed home from Disney during the game.  Drats.  So, we decided to do the next best thing . . . get tickets for the next night’s game.  Which is where we found ourselves one brisk spring evening in April.

Baseball in Baltimore has a long legacy.  The Orioles have been really good for some of those years, and just plain awful for many more.  And in fact, excepting last year’s playoff run, the birds have stunk up the joint for about 2 decades past.  Luckily, Balmorons have a short memory, and it seems that every spring, no matter how bad they have been or for how long, there is still a feeling of hope.  An optomistic thought of, “maybe this will be our year.”  And with the playoff run at the end of last year, the citizens of this fine city may just have a reason to hope this year.  Fingers crossed.

So, it was with this resurgence of hope and optimism that we entered the stadium, with a couple of thousand other hopeful fans.  It was our first game of the year, and the entire family was in attendance, including even some extended family who had seats in another part of the park.  We were all very excited.  My husband had ordered our seats specifically so we could be close to the field, hoping that there might just be a small chance that my oldest son, 7 years old and in love with all things baseball, might just get lucky enough to get a foul ball.  Our seats were front row on the left field side of the outfield.  Pretty nice, really.


We arrived at the stadium about an hour before the game, intending to get there early enough to relax, have some food, and settle in.  Instead of our usual m.o. of running late, rushing around, and showing up mid-way through the 1st inning.  This was a far better way of dealing with this kind of event, especially with young kids.

While we were settling into our seats, we saw the Oriole Bird come onto the field a little ways from where we were sitting.  My hubs took my youngest over to see what was happening on the field.  That is when we realized that they were grabbing kids from the stands to come out and “play baseball” with the bird.  Once we realized this, we asked our kids if they wanted to go over to be picked.  My youngest was all for it.  My oldest . . . you know, Mr. I Love Baseball . . . wanted no part of it.  No thanks, not interested.  I’ll just watch.  (Oh man, he is so my son).


But my 4 year old leapt out there onto the field when it was his turn.  And he hit the ball(s) thrown to him, and got to run around the “bases” set up out on the outfield there.  He thought it was pretty awesome.

But then, as my older son is just standing there watching, not even right in front of where this was occurring, but probably about 2 sections over from where all the commotion was happening, one of the “handlers” comes running over to him.  He points up to him and says, “hey, do you want to come down?”  And my son is like, “sure.”  Wait, what?  Oh, and did I mention that at this point there is a line of children waiting to go down on the field in the area they had been picking kids from?  Yeah, I have no idea what prompted this guy to run over and grab my son, but I was just glad that he agreed to do it.  Because he had so much fun.

Picture 8305 Picture 8302 603895_527512007291490_1988779915_n

What was even cooler was that the Bird kept doing this thing where he would pick up 2nd base as the kids were running towards it and play keep away with it.  With my son, he picked it up, played keep away, and then tossed it over his shoulder, so that it landed about mid-center field.  My son, who is a very, “huh, ok then,” type of kid, just altered his course and took off running to the newly distributed second base . . . all the way out in the outfield of Camden Yards.  So, basically, he got to traipse all around the field because of the Bird’s nonsense.  Pretty sweet for that huge baseball fan.

So, once my kids were done playing with the Bird and making their imprints all over the field, it was time for the game to start.  A couple of innings in, I started to get very thirsty, so I figured I would stretch my legs a bit and go get a beverage.  As I was walking around the outermost ring of the stadium, where all the food and beverage kiosks are, I chose one that basically had the shortest line.  As I got up to the girl serving the beers and ordered 2 (1 for the hubs, I wasn’t that thirsty), the girl said something that endeared her to me for all time:  “May I see your ID?”  Yep, that’s right, people.  I got carded!  I did notice a sign posted that said they carded everyone under the age of 30, but still, that would make me look 29.  I will totally take it!

Picture 8309

After I got back to my seat, and then everyone played a few rounds of “take a child to the bathroom to empty his bladder,” it was time to settle in to watch some baseball.  It was getting dark, and subsequently, the temps were dropping.  Everyone was pulling out their winter accessories . . . hats, gloves, earmuffs, etc.  It was really quite chilly.  And we had just returned from 80* Florida weather the day before, so it was pretty jarring. 

Accordingly, when a player from the Minnesota Twins hit a foul ball straight to our section, landing in the outstretched winter gloved hand of the man sitting 3 seats to my right, instead of actually catching the ball, it bounced of his highly padded paw and dropped back onto the field.  And subsequently, the outfielder, Nate McLouth, jogged over to pick it up, then looked up at the outstretched baseball gloved hand of my 7 year old, and tossed it right up to him.  That’s right, he got that foul ball, after all!  Good planning with those seats, hubs!


Thanks, Nate!

All in all a pretty stellar night at the Yard.  Kids got to run around on the field, foul ball straight from a player’s hand, and I was indirectly told that I look 29.  Yep, a good night all around, I’d say.


If you haven’t already, make sure you visit my last post, and enter to win the raddest mug ever!  All you have to do is tell me about your Happiest Place on Earth.  And really, can’t we all use a little happy right about now?  Go on . . .

Another One Bites the Dust Cover

Picture 8121

I recently discovered that a local bookstore is being compelled to close its doors because it’s not getting enough business to stay open.  I have walked past this bookstore a bajillionty times, as it is directly across the street from my courthouse, but until last week, I had never once previously gone inside.  And I am deeply ashamed of this fact.  I am the reason that this store is closing.

And yes, while it is not only my fault, as my sole patronage probably would not have prevented the store’s going out of business, it is me and people like me that caused this to happen.  You see, I love books.  Even in the age of all things electronic, whether it be a Kindle, a Nook or an iPad, I still prefer reading actual books to any other mode of viewing literature.  I love the feel of a book, the smell of the pages, the heft of the bound papers in my hand. 

There is a local used book store near my home that I visit every couple of months, perusing their rows and rows of used novels, in the attempt to find an as yet undiscovered gem.  I will also take the books I have finished reading to this shop to trade them in for more books.  But my true transgression is this . . . I buy most of my books from Amazon.  So, you see, I am part of the problem which has developed in this generation of electronic ease and convenience.  Because, even though I still prefer my books the old-fashioned way, I will much more readily click online to order, rather than visit a local brick and mortar shop.  And this is why so many of these little shops are closing down. 

Picture 8090

So, in the spirit of too little, too late, I paid a much delayed visit to this closing book store.  It may or may not have had anything to do with the fact that every book in the store was $3.00 or less.  It was a lovely little store.  Much bigger and deeper than I had imagined from the outside.  On a table to the left of the entrance, there was a complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica books for sale.  Huge, dusty tomes that will probably sit there until they are packed up by the owner with the remainder of the undesirable and unsellable books.  What with Google and Wikipedia at the click of a mouse, who needs big, outdated books to tell you what you need to know?  However, it was quite the trip to nostalgiaville seeing that entire set sitting there, since I grew up with a complete set on a bookcase in my own childhood home.  It was where you would find me when research papers came due for grade school projects.

Picture 8091

And speaking of old school . . . there was a shelf labelled “Vintage” filled with numerous Hardy Boys mysteries and even some Bobbsey twins.  I did not see any Nancy Drew, as I imagine someone else probably snatched those up already.

In my search through this soon to be extinct shop, I was able to find a few books to purchase for myself.  But along with those, I discovered another rare gem . . . and this week’s giveaway!!

Picture 8093

When I saw this and started flipping through it in the store, it made me laugh.  I knew that I had to get it and give it to one lucky reader.  Preferably one that is of the appropriate age, per the book’s guidance (see that little print down in the lower left corner . . . go ahead, get your glasses . . . I’ll wait).

I am sure that you are curious as to what this book contains, as I was as well.  Well, feast your eyes on just a sampling of the valuable queries in this book, enabling you to transcribe your own info for future reference.  Basically, when you get too old to remember your name, you can have this handy mid-life guide!

Picture 8094 Picture 8092 Picture 8095

Very helpful, indeed!

Now, before you go denying that you want this handy little helper of a book, don’t think that I am calling you old.  No way, I would never do such a thing.  What’s calling you old is your grey hairs, saggy boobs and receding hairlines.  Take a gander in the mirror, my friends, before you start throwing the pitch forks around this way, k?  Sheesh!!

So, who wants it?  Anyone, anyone?  Hello?

Hmmm . . . I’ll be curious to see how this goes.  If you do indeed want it, this is what you shall do . . . comment on how you first realized you were old.  Was it a physical thing (grey hair, wrinkles, etc.)?  Was it a failing ability (poor sight, bad hearing, etc.)?  Was it some young punk kid calling you “ma’am?”  (Damn kids these days, grumble grumble).  Or was it something else?  Go ahead, fess up.  It’s happened to all of us!

And just to be fair, I will throw in another little treat as well, so it’s not just the book.  I haven’t decided what it will be yet, but it will be fun.  Probably not Metamucil.  I mean, unless that’s something you’re needing right now, because if so, I’ve got you covered!!


This is your last reminder . . . if you haven’t already gone over to Noa’s Funny Bitch All-Star page to vote for yours truly (about halfway down the list) . . . what are you waiting for???  I would be ever so grateful if you were to do so.  This will be my last post for a while, as I am leaving for Disney with the fam oh so very early Saturday morning and will not return for a full week.  It would be just delightful to see that I made the All-Stars’ list prior to my departure.  PLEASE MAKE IT HAPPEN!!  Thanks, all!  See ya on the flip side.

Rain on My Parade

* Please note that this post is about football, and more specifically the celebration of the Baltimore Ravens winning the Super Bowl.  If none of those things interest you in any way, you may want to skip this post.  This is fair warning.

(Ok, now that I have lost about 95% of my normal readers, I will continue to address the remaining 3 of you.  Don’t you feel special?).

So, in case you live under a rock, you might have heard of this little game that was played last Sunday.  The Baltimore Ravens played the San Fran 49ers in an epic hermano v. hermano battle of gridiron football, and the Ravens came out on top.  This is only the second time the Ravens have gone to the Super Bowl, and both times they have emerged victorious.  In 2001, after their first victory, the city of Baltimore rejoiced by having a parade for the players a few days after the big event.  My husband was working in downtown Baltimore at the time, and actually had a view of the parade route from his office.  So, I was able to see his bird’s eye view of many of the players after the fact when looking at his pictures from that day, but I was not there in person.

This year’s celebration would also involve a parade, which I similarly would not be able to attend.  Although I work in downtown Baltimore, mere blocks from the planned parade route, I was due in court all day and would not be able to stand out in the street to cheer on the homecoming heroes.  And while disappointed in this, I was resigned to my fate.

Driving into the city on the morning of the parade, I saw preparations were already being made.  From news crews setting up . . .

Picture 7838

. . . to people already standing against the fences in anticipation of the parade, a full 2 and 1/2 hours prior to the scheduled start time (oh yes, it started late . . . stay tuned).

Picture 7841

Everywhere I looked, there were people walking around in purple.  There was a certain anticipatory buzz in the air.  And while some people were just walking to their offices, not wearing any purple at all, there was an obvious and significant increase in foot traffic that morning.  Not to mention the numerous small business men who took this opportunity to sell bootleg Ravens paraphernalia on the street.  Pennants and T-shirts were being hawked everywhere you looked.

Once I was safely ensconced in the courthouse and began working, I put the parade out of my mind.  Although there was a significant lack of people showing up for court (assuming they took the day off to see the parade), it was pretty much business as usual, and we were able to get through most of the docket in a timely manner.  But then . . . the time of the parade approached.  We could hear a good amount of yelling and cheering outside our windows, as we were not far from the starting point of the parade.  And then, oddly enough, the Judge took a “parade recess” so he could go back to chambers and watch the parade on TV.  So, my colleagues and I sat around our desks, watching the live feed on an iPhone, and wishing we were just a mere couple blocks away enjoying the festivities, rather than sitting at a desk watching the announcers talk about how the parade was running late and that they were waiting for the players.

And then it happened.  One of the guys who I work with in the courthouse had just finished up his job there for the morning and said he was going over to the parade.  I said I wished I could join him, to which one of my colleagues responded, “if you want to go, you can.  I’ll stay and wait for the docket to start again.  We only have 2 more cases anyway.”  Well, you didn’t need to tell me twice.  I told my new parade buddy to wait up, I was coming with him to the parade.  And we were off.

Unfortunately, because we were not one of the first ones there, and had not planned this out very well, we found quite the crown out on the street in front of us, thus impeding any view we might actually have of the parade.  This is what we saw when we approached the route:

Picture 7846

So many people.  A lot of them so much taller than me.  It seemed pretty hopeless that we were going to be able to see much of anything.  But we stood, and we waited.  And waited some more.  I waited so long that I was starting to get concerned that I would have to go back to the courthouse to deal with the afternoon docket before I ever got to even see the parade start.  And while I was waiting, I did get to see this:

Picture 7855

Yes, that is in fact a woman blatantly walking around in head to toe Steelers gear, amidst a sea of diehard Ravens fans.  If you are not aware, the Pittsburgh Steelers are hated rivals of the Baltimore Ravens, and her walking around like this was her attempt of making a statement.  I was actually a little fearful for her, and thought this an unwise decision.  Luckily, all that happened was a bit of booing when people saw her walking through the crowd, and that was it. 

After standing with my friend for a while, waiting for something to happen, news started circulating through the crowd that the buses carrying the players were approaching.  Then, I heard people screaming and a mad dash was made by a good amount of people in the direction of where the player’s buses would park.  I had wedged myself into a good spot, and thought that leaving my post for the unknown was probably a bad idea, so I stayed where I was.  Unfortunately, the next time I turned around to talk to my buddy, I found myself talking to some tall stranger.  It seems that my (former) friend had run off, not telling me he was leaving, and was nowhere to be found.  Oh well, I guess I was on my own.

Soon after (although a good hour later than scheduled) the parade started.  I was able to climb up on one of those metal gates lining the street, and get a foothold, so I could get a decent, if precarious, view of the parade.  I got to see quite a few of my favorite Ravens, including the owner, Steve Bisciotti, head coach, John Harbaugh, and many players, such as MVP Joe Flacco, Anquan Boldin, Haloti Ngata, and of course, Ray Lewis.

Bisciotti2JFlacco4Picture 7863-001Picture 7867 Picture 7868-003 Picture 7868 Picture 7869-002 

Once Ray passed, the parade was done and people started following Ray’s car down the street, presumably headed to the stadium with the rest of the procession.  I, on the other hand, needed to get back to work.  When I got back to court, my colleagues were eating lunch and still watching the live feed on an iPhone, so I got to see a little of the rest of it.  I was looking forward to seeing the news footage that the hubs was taping once I got home to get a really good look at who was on the floats, as it was difficult to see from where I was (and of note, I apparently somehow completely missed the Humvee with Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs.  Even though they apparently drove right by where I was standing and looking right at the parade.  Weird). 

Later in the afternoon, my “friend” came back down to court, and of course, I asked him where he went.  He told me that he went to see the players get off the bus (which I assumed) and that he came back looking for me (which is a bold-faced lie, because I had not moved), and then he moved to a different spot along the parade where there weren’t as many people.  Then he told me this:

And I got to touch the trophy.

Hold up . . . what now?  You meant the Vince Lombardi Trophy?  WHAT???

Yeah, so apparently from his newly found perch next to the parade route, he saw Anquan Boldin walking down the street with the trophy, and when he reached out, he got to touch it as he walked by.  The trophy.  That Anquan Boldin was holding.  Yeah.

So, as you can imagine this man is now dead to me.

Damn Trophy Toucher.

Oh, and did I mention that he was video taping this entire thing?  Which he so kindly showed me.  So I got to watch, as Anquan Boldin walked towards him, trophy aloft, and see his friend-abandoning hand reach out and touch it as it went by.


© Ken Koons/Carroll County Times

© Ken Koons/Carroll County Times

(Like this, only imagine he was walking by and holding the trophy out for everyone to touch).

Oh, but as I was leaving the parade and heading back to work, I did get to see this:

Picture 7877

Leggings as pants, one white sock, one black sock and itty bitty purple gym shorts that she is sticking her hands down and are creeping up into her nether regions.  Right in front of me.  Like a gift.  Like someone out there knew I was gonna need this to soothe my soul.  Or something.  I mean, it’s no Vince Lombardi trophy or anything, but . . .

Nope, still mad.  Can’t even look at a bright side.  Grrrr . . .

I mean . . . YAY RAVENS!!

Previous Older Entries