Urban (mis)Advantures

Day Two…Surprised and Grateful — August 30, 2011

Day Two…Surprised and Grateful

When Irene blasted through the East Coast and knocked out the lights on Sunday, I was prepared to be without power for at least five days.  I even got a recorded phone call stating the focus was on clean-up during the first day of the aftermath, with the possibility of power not being restored until the weekend.  Yet on Monday as I drove home from work, the downed tree at Parlee’s Farm was cleared, along with the power lines cleared. 

And the lights were on at home.  I rejoiced. 

And as the television and internet came back on, I realized how fortunate I am.  For Hurricane / Tropical Storm Irene devastated other parts of New England, particularly Vermont. 


Our prayers are with you all.

Day One in the Dark — August 29, 2011

Day One in the Dark

Hurricane Irene’s rains steadily began falling at around 4 pm on Saturday, August 27th.  The lights in Chelmsford, MA stayed on until 11 a.m. on Sunday morning.  For that is about the time the Western most part of the storm romped around Middlesex County, dumping heavy rain, knocking down branches, and yes a few trees which tore down the power lines.   During the eye of the storm and towards the Eastern side, we ventured outside to stand on the docks of Heart Pond and feel the strong wind whip specks of water around us.  I read, wrote, and played cards and board games throughout the day.  In fact, the Star Wars Monopoly game is still set up in the living room for us to resume this evening. 

About 300,000 of us are without power in our homes.  I blog from work on my lunch break. 

As said in a previous post, I have nothing running the home.  The water is electrically pumped from the well.  Fortunately, or New Hampshire friends still have power and will let us shower this evening.  As of this morning, we still had ice in the freezer.  The fridge held out for the first day, allowing us to eat sandwhiches and enjoy cold drinks.  We’ll be grilling dinner or heading out to places that have gained power back. 

The initial estimate from a neighbor was that it may take five days to get power back.  Another neighbor says maybe two days.  National Grid could not give an estimate when reporting on WBZ Boston radio station.   

Stay tuned!  Will try to blog during another lunch break tomorrow!

Batten down the hatches…here comes Irene. — August 27, 2011

Batten down the hatches…here comes Irene.

Growing up and living along the Gulf Coast in the past, my favorite weather was always the cooling winds and overcast skies of the climate just before a hurricane or tropical storm.  Daddy made sure each had flashlights and other supplies, for inland dwellers such as myself had to face floods and/or tornadoes. 

Well, now its my turn to prepare for the first hurricane predicted to hit Massachusetts in 20 years. Cape Cod is expected to have hurricane like weather and its residents are either moving their boats or anchoring them in.  They’re boarding up their houses.  Us inland denizens are bracing for floods and power outages, as all of Mass is under a state of emergency.   The Broke Down Volkswagen/Audi car show has been cancelled.  Heart Pond residents are cruising in their boats to enjoy one last day before the storm.  Hello, Irene. 

Dishes are getting cleaned, the laundry will be washed, and we will be showered by tomorrow morning….because our water is electronically pumped from the well.  Five gallons of water sit patiently, along with a couple dozen individual water bottles.  I just returned from a last minute grocery run for poptarts, granola bars, bread, peanut butter, and a bit of fruits and veggies for some non-perishable food to survive off of for a couple of days.  And I was completely surprised at how many people bought perishable meats and dairies.  Shrug.  The basement is still clear from the last year’s down pour.  I moved some important belongings away from the leaking window upstairs.  The boy is packing in some hours on the X-Box before Irene potentially takes this privilege away. 

My biggest fears are: 
Torrential rains:  Our roof isn’t the strongest.  It leaked this winter from the snow and the landlord is not entirely done with the repairs.  Rains will also drive in unwanted six and eight-legged guests.  And mice.  There’s also concern that rising waters will soften the ground and topple trees.  Not good for us woodland boonies.  And I fear that my poor Oli will rise from his resting place near the shrubs in the back yard if we flood. 
Power outage:  No refrigerator.  No air conditioning.  No fans.  No running water. 

But we do have plenty of batteries, some camping lanterns, flashlights and candles.  And I have loads of books waiting to be read. 

So Missey Twisted may be signing off for a while after tomorrow morning.  Or Irene may lose some steam before she hits us Massholes.  Tune in later!

I Don’t Miss My Cell Phone — August 25, 2011

I Don’t Miss My Cell Phone

Since my boy is now home from camp for a couple of weeks before school starts, I leave my cell phone at home for him to use just in case of anything.  Granted, the phone is a silver Razor from five years ago because my EnV was stolen.  But it’s better than the boy not having any way to call anyone. 

And I don’t miss that phone.

Call it going back to the Dark Ages.  Call it Old School.  But I can be reached at work on a landline phone if needed by the husband or boy.  Remember those?  Landlines…… 

Why don’t I miss the cell phone?  I am not interrupted by some random person calling me at work.   Or sending me a silly text message.  Therefore, I only need to snatch up the work phone when it goes off and not worry about checking the cell every hour.  And I don’t have to worry about putting another phone on silent during sessions.  Or worry about turning the volume back up on the cell after work.  I drive to work and home without getting a phone call.  So I blast the radio. 

And most awesomely, I don’t have to fret about forgetting my phone at home.  I could get used to this.

Greatest Baby and Guardian Mismatches in the Movies — August 19, 2011

Greatest Baby and Guardian Mismatches in the Movies

The most recent rental from the Redbox inspired me to further explore the storyline of an innocent little baby ending up in the hands of an unintentional guardian.  Usually the guardians are male.  This tale has been sung over and over, yet we still enjoy it.  Here are seven of my favorites:

Madmartigan, Willow, and Elora in Willow.

Baby Elora is possible the child prophesied that will bring down an evil sorceress queen.  Yet her mother escapes her imprisonment and sends Elora on a raft down a river, where she is discovered by the dwarf, Willow.  Willow gets the help of a charismatic swordsman, Madmartigan, and together they save the baby from the queen’s army, fighting of trolls, a moat monster, and dealing with strange folk.  Yet another awesome 80’s movie. 



Tarzan and Kala, Disney’s Tarzan

The scene where Kala finds the helpless human baby after his parents are attacked by Sabor is simply unforgettable.  Kala discovers how awkward, fragile, and stinky human babies can be.  I especially liked how she carried him by his diaper.






Manfred, Sid, Diego, and Baby, Ice Age

We are the strangest herd I’ve ever seen,” Sid the sloth comments when he, Manfred the mammoth and Diego the saber tooth tiger band together to return a baby to the man herd.  And one among this herd wanted to eat the poor kid.

Smith, Donna, and Oliver, Shoot ‘Em Up

Smith is a carrot-eating, gunslinging bad-ass.  Donna is a prostitute who can still breast feed.  They find themselves caring and saving a baby whose mother was killed during a shoot out.  Smith and Donna give Oliver everything a baby needs:  food, diapers folded from newspapers, a hat made of Smith’s sock, and a bullet-proof vest that serves as a carrier/bed. 

Marc Antony and Pussyfoot, Looney Tunes 

Okay, so this is not a movie.  But as a kid, I always enjoyed Pussyfoot knitting Marc Antony’s fur on his back before nestling in for a nap.  And then Marc Antony would pound anyone that tried to hurt the kitty. 






Sully, Mike Wizowski, and “Boo,” Monster’s Inc
Boo is a little girl who sneaks into the Monster’s world via her closet.  Children are thought to be toxic in the Monster World, so everyone is terrified of the absolute cutest Disney character ever.  Monster roommates, Sully and Mike dress her up like a baby monster and eventually return her to her bedroom.  And Boo overcame her fear of the boogeyman in her closet. 

And my new favorite baby/guardian mismatch:

Laundry Man (Yang) and April, Warrior’s Way

Yang is a Sad Flute assassin out to kill all members of his rival swordsman clan.  He slices through them all until he opens a box and sees a baby princess laughing up at him.  So he doesn’t kill all of his rivals.  Yang clutches the princess by her blanket straps while slinging his blade through a cloud of flying ninja assassins.  She is then hauled through the deserts of the American Southwest, hanging by a make-shift bouncer from a bamboo cane over his shoulder.  Baby and killer guardian revive a laundry business in a tiny town.  Yang is mostly silent, while the infant princess smiles and laughs.  “Laundry Man” and April soon find other family members such as a drunken ex-train robber and a midget named Eight Ball.

Goodbye, Oli — August 16, 2011

Goodbye, Oli


Rest in Peace, Oliver

May 2002 – August 2011

I adopted you from my friend in 2003 because you were beating up the dog and being mean to the new kittens in her home.  You grew on us quickly.  While the Mister served in Iraq, you cuddled around my head at night and combed my hair.  You climbed an occasional tree.  You went on an exploration away from home a couple of times, but always came back.  You used to strut along the wooden fence in the backyard, get all the dogs riled up, then trot inside, leaving them barking.  You tolerated endless squeezing hugs from a little boy who grew into a teen-ager as you aged.  You left us surprises, such as bird feathers in the basement.  We never found the rest of the bird.  My favorite cushy chair was also your favorite cushy chair, as you swished me in the face with your tail when I nestled into it.  A moth entertained you for hours.  Mice stood no chance against you. 

You fell sick, Oli, and we treated you the best we could.  I know you hated the trip to the vet’s, but we hated the news more.  The news that you would not be with us much longer.  We chose to bring you back home and spend your last days  those who love you. 

Goodbye, Oliver.  We will miss you.   



International Friendship Day — August 5, 2011

International Friendship Day

Sunday, August 7 is this year’s International Friendship Day.  To celebrate via blog, I’m listing some of my favorite sets of fictional friends that I’ve adored from childhood until now. 

The Hundred Acre Wood Crew from Winnie the Pooh:
A dysthymic donkey.  A neurotic and manic rabbit.  A wise and patient owl.  A gopher with a speech impediment.  A loving and sensible mother kangaroo and her playfully adventurous son.  An extremely hyperactive tiger.  And a pudgy, honey addicted “silly old bear,” that appears to have a low I.Q.  Yet they each banded together when most needed to get Pooh bear unstuck from his predicaments, fix Eeyore’s tail, remind Tigger of who his family is, and protect each other from the horrible Huffalumps in their ‘hood. 

Bert and Ernie, Sesame Street:
Roommates for over 40 years now, Bert and Ernie teach us that friends can have strange things in common, such as collecting paper clips or rubber duckies.  One friend can be completely bland, and the other a prankster with a memorable laugh.  One can have a unibrow and the other, no eyebrows.  Bert and Ernie have stood the test of time, proving that friends don’t always have to like each other at times, but do love at all times.  They have also survived the controversy of being accused as homosexuals. 

The Super Friends. 

My Saturday morning was not complete without Wonder Woman flying her invisible jet and exclaiming “Great Hera!”  Or hearing “Wonder Twins Power Activate!”  Or watching Superman lead the group of DC comic superheroes into battle against the Legion of Doom.  I always wanted to visit the Hall of Justice….

Shaggy and Scooby Doo.
I’ve always been a big fan of Shaggy.  I just love these two as they shared giant sandwiches and find themselves the unwilling bait for monsters and ghouls.  Plus, they were back of the bus kids like me. 

Charlotte and Wilber, from Charlotte’s Web.
Charlotte’s Web is one of my favorite books of all time.  And Charlotte the spider taught this arachnophobe that friends can be found in the most unlikely of places and the darkest of hours.  Like when you find out the Zuckermans are going to plump you up, kill you, and eat you.   She also taught me that using your noodle can get you far in life and that true friends never abandon you. 

Han Solo and Chewbacca, Star Wars.
Although the intergalactic crew consisted of a brother and sister, droids, and a suave manager of a Cloud City, Han and Chewbacca were best buds far before they all joined the Rebellion.  Though they didn’t speak the same language and about two or three feet separated their heights, these two space pirates always had each other’s back.  Even when one was frozen in carbonite. 

The Goonies.

This is one of my favorite movies ever and on the list of epic ’80’s movies I forced my son to watch.  It has the classic cheerleader with the not-as-pretty friend match of Andy and Stef.   It also captures the neighborhood bunch of the asthmatic, brainiac Asian, chunky monkey, and mouthy smartass that join forces to save their neighborhood from the rich folk who want to bulldoze it.  And, oh yeah, “Hey, you guuuuuys!” 

Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took, The Lord of the Rings.
Though Samwise and Frodo saw each other to Mordor and destroyed the ring, my favorite hobbits are Pippin and Merry.  They were the underdog hobbits that had to fight their way into the Fellowship by showing their loyalty to Frodo.  Orcs, giant talking trees, and a war with the Big Folk never faltered their loyalty to each other. 

The South Park Kids. 

Sometimes friends are made out of necessity.  Living in the small town of South Park Colorado, Kyle, Kenny, Cartman, and Stan have little choice but to hang out with each other.  Though Kyle and Stan do profess to be best friends, not many other fourth grade children are around, therefore they are stuck with the egotistic and spiteful Cartman.  And when it serves a better purpose, the boys will seek out my favorite character, Butters Scotch, along with Clyde, Tweek, or Token.  And in the mix is the poor kid from the “other side of the tracks,” Kenny. 

Harry, Hermione, and Ron from Harry Potter.
Harry wakes up one morning in his horrible life and is informed he is a wizard.  He will leave his awful foster family and attend Hogwarts.  But most importantly, he will befriend the know-it-all Hermione and the underprivileged Ron.  They always support Harry through his destined life of defeating the Dark Lord, “You Know Who.”  They help him find a secret chamber, slip in and out of time to save a falsely accused man, survive normal parts of adolescents such as a first crush, and fight off Deatheaters. 

Phil, Stu, and Alan from the Hangover. 

What happens in Vegas, well didn’t stay in Vegas for these guys celebrating their friend, Doug’s bachelor party.  After the outrageous night of partying with Mike Tyson’s tiger and a dancer’s baby, Doug goes missing.  They overcome a mysterious emergency room visit, returning the tiger to Mike Tyson, and a crazed Asian gangster, and each other’s differences to find Doug and get him to the ceremony on time.

I could totally go on and on with many more, such as a few crews from the Star Trek sagas, but will end here for now.